Category Archives: Medication and Kidney Function

My brother-in-law has had a transplanted kidney for 32 years. But it is now failing and must go on dialysis as he waits for another transplant. Since he still has some kidney function left, should he continue to takes his rejection meds so that he can enjoy some kidney function for as long as it lasts? We realize this is a question ultimately for his physician but what is the industry standard practice, so to speak. As an aside, he has been a motivational speaker for NKF conferences.

In most cases, the transplant physicians recommend continuing some anti-rejection medication while awaiting a second transplant. The dose and the types of anti-rejection medication that are continued is often a local recommendation at the discretion of the transplant physician. I … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function, Transplantation, Treatments

Could her renal failure be the underlying cause of the sudden memory loss?? Approximately 6 weeks ago, my 85-year-old Mother lost her (mostly) short-term memory. It was sudden and severe. Tests did not show a UTI but they treated her with low level antibiotics “just in case” – CT Scans and MRI’s are clear, lungs are clear. She has hypertension, high blood pressure, neuropathy, and has been on oxygen 24/7 since February. Until this time, she never had a single issue with memory. In 2004, she had a blood clot go to her kidney causing renal failure and has less than half (maybe ¼) of one kidney. She had one dialysis treatment in 2004 and has not had to have any more. Could her kidney failure be the underlying cause of the memory loss?? There are so many doctor’s involved that no one seems to be able to get on board with a solid answer or consensus. My understanding is that if it were due to a UTI, the memory would return (at least a little) as the antibiotics began to clear up the infection but this has not happened. Can you help me? Perhaps point me in the direction of the right specialist (her PCP, her nephrologist, her heart doctor?????) Besides the memory loss, she has not had any other physical symptoms that have developed in the last 3 months. A lung infection this summer has completely cleared after a (half) round of prednisone (which she forgot to keep taking but had enough to wipe it out, apparently). Mentally, until 6 weeks ago, she played Bridge 3-4 times a week, was president of the residential Independent Living Council (10 years), was in a book club, read at least one book per week for fun, played Mahjong, was very active in her facility, very structured and almost rigid in her routines. Now, she cannot remember where she is (in a rehab facility) and cannot remember why she is in there or what happened 30 minutes ago, or, 10 minutes ago sometimes. Thank you for any help you can offer.

I have not seen this sudden of memory loss be related to kidney disease. From your description, this seems like a very sudden and unexpected event. This might be described as acute delirium. Your mother has a number of very … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function

My GFR has dropped from 28 to 17 in a matter of 6 months but my diet has changed for the better, potassium went from 6.1 to 5.1 using Veltassa, staying well hydrated but nobody can explain the quick drop in GFR. My question is my primary care doctor has me on Actos and Glyburide for Type 2 diabetes and my last A1C was 6.8%. I am hearing and reading that I should not be taking Actos but my primary care doctor and 3 different nephrologists say its OK. Please help.

Actos (pioglitazone) in a diabetic drug that can cause fluid retention in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but if you are tolerating the medication well and your diabetes is well controlled based on your HgbA1c, I don’t see a … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Diabetes, GFR, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function

Hi Dr Spry, I received a kidney 5 years ago from a young male, who like me, was Hep C positive. Within one year, I was cured of Hep C with Solvadi. I’ve suffered with Crohn’s disease for the last 55 years and am I’m now 68. I’ve had 3 bowel resections and still have 6 feet of bowl. My kidney is working better than expected and my Crohn’s under control. I also suffer from bradycardia, gout, debilitating arthritis and stenosis in my cervical and lumbar spine. My main concern is that in the last few months my joint and back pain has increased alarmingly. My doctor suggested that switching from Prograf to Belatacept could help reduce my pain because it is based on a different mechanism than Prograf. I’d appreciate your opinion. Thank you.

Belatacept (Nulojix) is a monoclonal antibody directed at T-Cells in the immune system and has a much different mechanism of action from Prograf (tacrolimus) which is a calcineurin inhibitor. I am not aware that either drug is of benefit in … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function

Cefixime (200mg), Enalapril (10mg), are these drugs bad for kidneys? Till now, I don’t have any problem with kidney but I do have high blood pressure so I take Enalapril (10mg) regularly. I do suffer from stomach & bacteria related problem often, so I take Cefixime (200mg) tab sometimes in a month (5 to 6 tablet max in a month). Am I in a risk with these drugs?

Enalapril and Cefixime are not known to be toxic to the kidneys. However, I do recommend that your physician know the frequency that you take the Cefixime. Any antibiotic taken over a long period of time can cause multiple resistent … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function

My eGFR is now 58. I have chronic constipation and I take 750 mg of magnesium every day which takes care of this constipation problem. Is taking 750 mg of magnesium daily bad for my kidneys?

Magnesium is not known to be toxic to the kidneys, but daily intake of magnesium may cause high blood levels of magnesium. I suggest you review this with your physician and see if you should have a blood level determined. … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function

I have a female cousin and she’s a kidney patient, but she has slight pneumonia too. I checked out some remedies on the Internet and I was wondering if she could use these remedies for the slight pneumonia although she’s a kidney patient?

Any treatment for pneumonia should be reviewed and approved by your cousin’s physician. There are many over the counter medications that can interfere with and interact with medications that your cousin may already be taking. Hence, review and approval by … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function

Doesn’t Jardiance medication stress kidneys by sending more glucose to them?

Jardiance (empagliflozen) is a drug used to treat diabetes that causes the kidney to increase the elimination of glucose (sugar) into the urine. It does so by interfering with the normal functions of the kidney to save glucose. I am … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Diabetes, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function

I have stage 2 CKD and my GFR has been steady in the mid 60s for 2 years. I am 62 and recently developed osteoarthritis pain in a knee. I received a cortisone shot in my knee last week. My urine output seems to be decreasing. I am taking no other medicines or drugs. Can the cortisone shot be hurting my kidneys?

The amount of urine that you make is not a very sensitive or accurate way to estimate kidney function. It is true that cortisone can cause some fluid retention and weight gain.  This is perhaps what you are noticing. As … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function

My wife received a cadaver kidney transplant 8 years ago. She also has had two spinal surgeries to relieve back pain. The surgeries only diminished the pain slightly. It has been 4 years since the last spinal procedure and the pain has become considerably worse. She uses 50mg of norco a day. Would Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) be a better solution to her pain control? Is it safer for the kidney?

I am not an expert in pain control. I don’t know what benefit there might be to using a spinal stimulator. Norco is the brand name for Hydrocodone with acetaminophen. Norco is not harmful to the kidney if used in … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function