Drug administration in renal failure

The American Journal of Medicine
J S Cheigh

Abstract

Renal failure impairs urinary excretion of drugs and may also modify drug action by alternations in protein binding, distribution, biotransformation and, possibly, by retention of active metabolites. Dialysis adds another variable by altering the blood levels of those drugs soluble in plasma water and therefore available for diffusion or ultrafiltration. Renal insufficiency clearly modifies decisions about the choice and dose of a wide variety of drugs. Although data are accumulating at a rapid rate, available information about the use of drugs in patients with kidney disease is rather limited. The following is a summary of recent information on the use of a variety of drugs frequently utilized in patients with impaired renal function. The guidelines presented here are not absolute, but they are intended to be practical and reasonable, based on current information for adult patients of average size with kidney disease.

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