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March is Kidney Health Month and Pharmacist Awareness Month!

Wonder whether your medication affects your kidneys?  Ask a pharmacist!


Healthy Kidneys

Healthy kidneys do the body good!  Your kidneys:

  • Maintain your overall fluid and water balance

  • Balance your body’s minerals, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium

  • Filter out waste materials from food, medication and toxic substances

  • Create hormones that help regulate blood pressure, produce red blood cells and promote bone health


Drugs, Medications and Kidney Health

Certain drugs and medications can negatively affect kidney health.  As well, your kidney health status can affect your medications.

  • The use of illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, can cause kidney damage

  • Some over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications, when used in large doses or over long periods of time, may damage the kidney.  Examples include anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen.

  • Some medications may have side effects that affect the kidney.  For example, sometimes you’ll be advised to drink plenty of water with the medication.

  • If you have poor kidney function, this may require your medication or dose be adjusted


Tips for Health Kidneys

Here are some tips to keep your kidneys healthy

  • Avoid extra salt to prevent mineral imbalances in your blood, making your kidneys work harder

  • Drink enough water, to help your kidneys remove toxins effectively

  • Exercise regularly to reduce blood pressure.  High blood pressure is a risk factor for chronic kidney disease.


What to know more?

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is a good source of information as well as support if you or a friend or family member has kidney issues. www.kidney.ca

Your pharmacist is also a good source of medication and condition information and can provide clinical services such as

  • Addressing your medication concerns and questions.

  • Comprehensive medication assessments to identify drug therapy problems – and more importantly, to solve them!

  • Assessments for drug interactions, including with non-prescription, natural health products, vitamins and recreational products.

  • Training and education about your medications.

Happy Pharmacist Awareness Month!