The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included. Ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications only as recommended by your doctor, and according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
If you have
high blood pressure,
high cholesterol, or
diabetes, medications will likely be ordered to control these conditions. Leakage of protein from the urine is treated with 2 drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure: angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). In addition, medications may be needed to treat complications of kidney disease. There are no medications to cure or reverse kidney failure.
In chronic renal disease, a disturbance in calcium, phosphate, and vitamin D metabolism leads to a condition called secondary
. It is characterized by abnormally high levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in the blood. The high PTH levels lead to uremic bone disease. Cinacalcet HCL is effective in lowering the elevated PTH levels in chronic renal failure patients. It is taken by mouth.
Possible side effects include: NauseaVomitingTransient low blood calcium level
Diuretics help rid the body of excess fluid. Diuretics may be taken by mouth or, in some cases, by injection.
Possible side effects include: LightheadednessMouth drynessWeaknessFrequent urination
Common name: Renagel
This agent, which is taken by mouth, binds phosphate to prevent increased blood phosphate levels that can lead to weakening of bones. The medication does not contain calcium, aluminum, or magnesium.
Possible side effects include: NauseaDiarrheaUpset stomach
Common names include: EpogenProcrit
This drug is injected and used to treat anemia associated with renal failure. It stimulates the production of red blood cells.
Possible side effects include: HeadacheIncreased blood pressureJoint achesNausea
Typically taken orally, sodium bicarbonate may be ordered if you develop a condition called metabolic acidosis. This is an excess of acid in the blood due to alterations in metabolism from kidney failure.
If you need to use sodium bicarbonate, you should review your dietary sodium intake with your doctor or dietician. This medication will increase the sodium in your diet.
Calcium supplements are given to bind phosphate to maintain phosphate levels within a range that will not increase bone loss. These drugs are taken orally.
Possible side effects include: ConstipationLoss of appetiteSlow heart rate
If you are taking medications, follow these general guidelines: Take the medication as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule. Ask what side effects could occur. Report them to your doctor.Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medication.Plan ahead for refills if you need them.Do not share your prescription medication with anyone.Medications can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to your doctor if you are taking more than one medication, including over-the-counter products and supplements.
Call your healthcare provider if you develop side effects from the medications or you have: Signs of infection, including fever and chillsNausea or vomitingAbdominal painLightheadedness or weakness
Coladonato JA. Control of hyperphosphatemia among patients with ESRD.
J Am Soc Nephro.
2005;16 Suppl 2:S107-S114.
Malluche HH, Mawad H, Monier-Faugere MC. The importance of bone health in end-stage renal disease: out of the frying pan, into the fire?
Nephrol Dial Transplant.
2004;19 Suppl 1:9-13.
Torres PU. Cinacalcet HCL: a novel treatment for secondary hyperparathyroidism caused by chronic kidney disease.
J Ren Nutr.
What I need to know about kidney failure and how it's treated. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
Updated September 15, 2010. Accessed July 2, 2013.
Yu HT. Progression of chronic renal failure.
Arch Int Med.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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