Hence, kidney failure may trigger some life-threatening conditions. There are three categories of kidney failure, or renal failure, such as acute, chronic and end-stage renal disease. The former two categories can be caused by many different reasons. Some of the possible culprits for acute and chronic kidney failure are the following:
- Illnesses, such as diabetes, and uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Exposure to certain toxins or drugs
There are several drugs and medications which can lead to kidney damage. In order to categorize them better, we decided to list them by type of drug.
These are the top 10 drugs which damage kidneys:
- Antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin, vancomycin, methicillin, sulfonamides.
- Analgesics, like acetaminophen, as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID): ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, etc.
- Antiviral drugs, such as indinavir and tenofovir, both used to treat HIV, and acyclovir (brand name Zovirax) which is used in the case of herpes infection.
- Anticonvulsants, like trimethadione (brand name Tridione), used to treat seizures and other conditions, and phenytoin (brand name Dilantin).
- COX-2 inhibitors, such as celecoxib (brand name Celebrex). Two drugs, rofecoxib (brand name Vioxx), and valdecoxib (brand name Bextra) have been withdrawn from the market due to cardiovascular toxicity. They fall into the special class of NSAID which were intended to be safer for the stomach, but pose the same threat as other NSAIDs for kidney damage.
- Chemotherapy drugs, like quinine, interferons, cisplatin, pamidronate, carboplatin, tacrolimus, cyclosporine, mitomycin C, bevacizumab; and anti-thyroid drugs, like propylthiouracil, used in the treatment of an overactive thyroid.
- High blood pressure drugs, including captopril (brand name Capoten).
- Heartburn drugs of the proton pump inhibitor class, such as pantoprazole (brand name Protonix), omeprazole (brand name Prilosec), esomeprazole (brand names Nexium, Esotrex), lansoprazole (brand name Prevacid), and rabeprazole (brand names Rabecid, Aciphex).
- Lithium, used in the treatment of bipolar disorders.
- Rheumatoid arthritis drugs, such as infliximab (brand name Remicade); hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, used in the treatment of malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.