What Drugs Can Cause Kidney Damage?

The kidneys are a powerful waste removal system in the body, but certain medications can inhibit their ability to function in their vital roles. The bones and our blood benefit from their function through the kidneys’ production of hormones and Vitamin D. Becoming aware of the common drugs that can cause kidney damage or may lead to injury is critical when discussing medications and their use with your doctor. If you were injured due to a medicine that was improperly prescribed, a medical malpractice lawyer in Portland may be able to help.

Drugs Capable of Causing Kidney Damage

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

Controlling heartburn and acid reflux has become more accessible with various PPIs available to treat these painful flares in the stomach that can affect the entire digestive tract. But, long-term use of these medications can increase the risk of severe kidney issues. Talking openly with a physician or pharmacist about these side effects and using other drugs, such as H2 blockers, can protect the kidneys and reduce the likelihood of kidney damage.


Certain laxatives contain an oral sodium phosphate that has the potential to distribute phosphate crystals in the kidneys, potentially causing the loss of kidney function and, more severely, kidney failure. These bowl-cleaning medications, primarily used in preparation for colonoscopies but also available over the counter, now contain FDA warnings attached because of their potential to damage the kidneys. Unfortunately, many people suffering from early stages of kidney disease are unaware, but speaking with your physician about the health of your kidneys and the potential for damage from these forms of laxatives is imperative.

Pain medicines

There are numerous medications available to control daily aches and pains. Their occasional use should create no issue. However, often, more significant use can reduce kidney function, leading to kidney damage.

Treating chronic pain with these medications instead of seeing a doctor is often the cause of kidney damage. And according to the National Kidney Foundation, thousands of unsuspecting users have suffered kidney damage.


Diuretics treat high blood pressure but are also used to reduce edema or fluid retention and congestive heart failure. These medications efficiently remove excess fluid from the body but can cause dehydration because of the amount of fluid released. Dehydration can trigger numerous complications in the body and be unhealthy for your kidneys.

The kidneys’ inability to flush and remove waste from the body, along with the use of various medications and even genetic components, can also lead to the potential of developing kidney stones. While most pass without complication, infection in the kidneys and urinary tract can become a concern without proper treatment.


The short-term use of antibiotics is considered safe for most individuals, but their use for extended periods can also lead to a building of crystals in the kidneys that prevent urine flow. Also, knowing if you are allergic to antibiotics will help avoid potential kidney damage. The inability to release toxins from the body results in the reabsorption of harmful waste.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) estimates that kidney disease affects one of every seven adults in the U.S., equaling approximately 37 million Americans. Even more concerning is that estimates show that nine out of ten Americans with this disease are unaware they have it. Medications, such as antibiotics and the previously mentioned common drugs, are used daily to treat common health issues but can produce substantial health consequences without proper monitoring, overuse, and even negligent medical practices by medical practitioners.

Awareness is Vital in Kidney Disease Prevention

Individuals access medications or are prescribed medicines regularly that possess the potential to cause kidney damage. If your health has been affected by improper medical treatment and you suffer from kidney damage as a result, contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC in Oregon for a free case evaluation. We are fierce advocates for individuals in the Pacific Northwest injured due to medical negligence.