- Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease
- Kidney Disease Stages
- What to Expect with CKD
- Managing Kidney Disease
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- How Kidneys Work
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Dialysis BasicsDialysis Basics
Taking Medications While on Dialysis
Following directions for each of your medications
Since you’re undergoing dialysis treatment to clean your blood and maintain chemical balance, managing all of your medications and taking them exactly as prescribed—on time and with or without food as prescribed—is especially important. Taking your medications as prescribed will help keep you as healthy as possible.
Medications commonly taken by people on dialysis
|Medicine||Why it’s important|
|Renal (Kidney) Vitamin and Nutritional Vitamin D||Provides vitamins and other nutrients needed due to loss during dialysis, inadequate dietary intake or increased nutritional needs|
|Iron||Helps enhance hemoglobin production and treat anemia due to dietary deficiencies or blood loss|
|Phosphate Binder||Helps reduce phosphorus absorption that was consumed in the diet|
|Stool Softener||Relieves constipation due to limited fluid intake, certain medications, or inactivity|
|Heparin||Prevents blood clots from forming in dialysis tubing or dialyzer|
|Epogen, Aranesp or Mircera||Combats anemia and elevates blood count|
Take advantage of monthly medication check-ins
Each month, your doctor will meet with you to review all of your medications to make sure that you are getting the medications you need. Depending on your blood test results and how you are feeling, your doctor may want to prescribe alternate medications or adjust some of your doses. Remember, your feedback is always important to your doctor and treatment team. So speak up, ask questions and let them know how you’re really feeling.
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MAKE A MEDICATION CHEAT SHEET
Having trouble remembering which medications to take and when? Print and fill out this handy reminder sheet.
It’s also important to keep a paper copy in case of an emergency.
5 tips for managing your medications
Understand each medication—make sure you know what each medication does and how it benefits you.
Check with your nephrologist (kidney doctor) before taking any new medications—including antibiotics, cold or allergy medicines, pain relievers, vitamins or herbal supplements, any of which your body may use differently when you have end stage renal disease (ESRD). Always tell your nephrologist about any new medications prescribed by your other doctors.
Keep track of all your medications—your pharmacist can help ensure there are no conflicts with any existing or new medications. He or she can also help you understand your medications and medication labels.
FreseniusRx pharmacists specialize in kidney medications. You can fill all your kidney medication prescriptions with FreseniusRx if you’d like to—just tell your nurse. Be sure to let FreseniusRx know what other medications you are taking and one of the pharmacy team members will let you know if there is any potential for a drug interaction.