There are many ways that chronic kidney disease is treated. One of the most common prescribed treatments for chronic kidney disease are dietary restrictions, but medications are also commonly prescribed. It can be difficult to find much information on medications used to treat chronic kidney disease. This is because there technically isn’t a medication designed to treat kidney damage itself, as damage cannot actually be repaired. Instead, medications are used to control common symptoms and contributing disorders associated with chronic kidney disease.
Medications for Common Side Effects
Although it depends on the stage of kidney disease you are in, there may be side effects that can be better controlled with medications. Diuretics are commonly used for fluid retention and swelling, for example. Iron pills may be used to treat anemia, which is common for many kidney disease patients. Medications are also sometimes used to treat electrolyte imbalances. Potassium binders are also sometimes used to lower potassium levels in the blood.
Medications for High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is directly and strongly related to chronic kidney disease. High blood pressure is a common cause of kidney damage, and chronic kidney disease is sometimes a cause of high blood pressure. It is very common for high blood pressure medications to be prescribed for the treatment of chronic kidney disease.
ACE Inhibitors, Beta Blockers, Vasodilators, and many more common high blood pressure medications are quite often prescribed to chronic kidney disease patients. More often than not, more than one medication is necessary to find the right balance for individual patients. There is no one size fits all answer to high blood pressure or chronic kidney disease, after all.
Medications for Dialysis
If you reach end-stage renal disease, also known as kidney failure, you will need to completely replace the function of your kidneys with either dialysis or transplant. As transplant lists are quite long and not everyone qualifies, dialysis tends to be the far more common treatment.
There are different types of dialysis, and each of these different types is likely to be accompanied by different medications. Some common medications given during dialysis are Vitamin D, Iron replacement medications, and a medication called erythropoietin, that stimulates the production of new red blood cells and may decrease the need for blood transfusions.
Medications for Transplant
If you are able to get a kidney transplant, there are many medications that help your body heal from surgery, treat new or old symptoms, and help your body to accept the new organ. Immunosuppressant or anti-rejection drugs are very commonly prescribed to all transplant patients. Anti-rejection medications are typically taken for the rest of your life as long as you have your transplanted kidney.
There are a lot of medications that are used to treat chronic kidney disease and the complications that it may cause. Talk to your doctor about your medications if you have questions or think your medications may not be helping you. Always remember to discuss any major diet, lifestyle, or medication changes with your doctor before making changes.
And remember, diet plays an important part in all this too. Click here to get a free 7 day meal plan for your renal diet!