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Prescription Data Not Specific Enough for Kidney Patients

Physicians prescribing drugs to chronic kidney disease patients should avoid nephrotoxic drugs

THURSDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Because a large segment of the population is affected by kidney ailments and there is insufficient data in regards to prescription drugs' impact on such patients, prescribing physicians should reduce doses of some drugs and avoid others to minimize the possibility of adverse drug reactions and kidney toxicity, according to an independent review published in the December issue of Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

Chronic kidney disease "is especially common among elderly people, who often have co-morbidities and are prescribed several drugs," the authors write. "Practitioners need to be aware of drugs that are affected by reduced renal function, and the increased risks of drug-induced nephrotoxicity in people with chronic kidney disease."

About 4 percent to 5 percent of the U.K. population has chronic kidney disease at stages three through five defined as a glomerular filtration rate below 60 milliliters/minute/1.73 square meters that persists for several months.

Prescribers should avoid nephrotoxic drugs and cut the dose or frequency of drugs such as beta-blockers, as well as certain analgesics, antidepressants and antimicrobials in patients with kidney impairment.

"The advice for [chronic kidney disease] is often unhelpful, for example, stating that drugs should be used 'with caution' without explaining what this means," said DTB editor, Ike Iheanacho, in a statement. "Possibilities include starting with a lower dose of the drug, and/or increasing the dose more gradually, and/or monitoring renal function more frequently."

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