Medications for End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

Medications for End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

Here are the basics about each of the medicines below. Only the most common reactions are listed. Ask your doctor if you need to take any special steps. Use each of these drugs as advised by your doctor or the booklet they came with. If you have any questions, call your doctor.

Medicine cannot cure or reverse ESRD. But, it can help slow the progress of the disease. Other medicine can also help control problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or proteins leaking into the urine.

Prescription Medicine

Cinacalcet HCL

  • Sensipar

Diuretics

  • Furosemide
  • Bumetanide

Sevelamer

  • Renagel

Recombinant human erythropoietin (epoetin alfa)

  • Epogen
  • Procrit

Prescription Medicine

Cinacalcet HCL

  • Sensipar

This medicine is used to control calcium levels in the blood. This may help delay bone problems.

Some problems are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Transient low blood calcium level

Diuretics

  • Furosemide
  • Bumetanide

Diuretics help the body get rid of fluid buildup.

Some problems are:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Mouth dryness
  • Weakness
  • Passing urine often

Sevelamer

Renagel

This controls phosphate levels in the blood that can lead to weaker bones.

Some problems are:

Recombinant Human Erythropoietin (Epoetin Alfa)

  • Epogen
  • Procrit

These are used to treat anemia. They help the body make more red blood cells.

Some problems are:

  • Headache
  • Blood pressure may go up
  • Joint aches
  • Nausea

OTC Medicine

Sodium Bicarbonate

This can be taken to lower the amount of acid in the blood. Taking this can raise your sodium level. A dietitian can help you keep your sodium level in a healthy range when using this.

Calcium Carbonate or Calcium Acetate

These will keep phosphate levels in a range that will not increase bone loss.

Some problems are:

  • Constipation
  • Loss of hunger
  • Slow heart rate

Special Considerations

When taking any medicine:

  • Take medicine as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule.
  • Be aware of the side effects of your medicine. Tell your doctor if you have any.
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medicine.
  • Medicine can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than 1 medicine. This includes over the counter products and supplements.
  • Plan for refills as needed.

References:

Choosing a treatment for kidney failure. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/choosing-treatment. Updated January 2018. Accessed July 9, 2019.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname.... Updated January 18, 2019. Updated July 9, 2019.
Complications of chronic kidney disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname.... Updated February 5, 2019. Accessed July 9, 2019.
Murphree DD, Thelen SM. Chronic kidney disease in primary care. J Am Board Fam Med. 2010;23(4):542-550.
O'Connor NR, Corcoran AM. End-stage renal disease: symptom management and advance care planning. Am Fam Physician. 2012;85(7):705-710.
Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 10/4/2019

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.

Home |Terms and Conditions |Concerned About Privacy? |Accessibility |Careers |For Employers and Medical Plan Providers

You may also be looking for: CVS/pharmacy | MinuteClinic | Specialty Pharmacy | SilverScript | Accordant