Six Types Of Drugs That Are Harmful To Your Kidneys

September 9, 2019

Medicine is an important part of our life. Whether you are suffering from flu, headache, or something serious such as HIV, you probably have to resort to taking prescribed medicine when home remedies fail.

Did you know that every type of drug you put in your body has to pass through your kidneys? While some drugs are easily processed and expelled through the kidneys, others may harm them. Here are six types of drugs that damage your kidneys.

Pain Relief Drugs

While over-the-counter pain relief drugs are usually safe to consume, taking large amounts of ibuprofen, naproxen, or the likes can actually damage your kidneys. Thousands of Americans have damaged their kidneys unknowingly by taking these drugs for prolonged periods.

For common pains like back pain, try these essential oils for pain relief instead.

Drugs Containing TDF

Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (TDF) is widely used in the HIV preventative medicine Atripla. The medicine has been widely linked with serious kidney injuries including declining kidney function, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, acute renal failure, kidney failure, and more.

Atripla is so notorious for causing kidney problems that in 2018, a class action Atripla lawsuit took place. Before taking such medicines, make sure you discuss the risks with your doctor and opt for alternatives if available.


Antibiotics can also be quite dangerous for your kidneys if you do not take them properly. People who already have kidney disease should take a very little amount of antibiotics as opposed to people with normal functioning kidneys. Do not take antibiotics without a doctor’s consultation. A lot of infections can be dealt with using essential oils.


While alcohol is not a drug, it is worth mentioning how dangerous heavy drinking can be to your kidneys and liver. Alcoholics develop a significant risk for both liver and kidney failure over time. Try and control your alcohol intake and if it is a habit you cannot give up, consider rehabilitation.

Illegal Drugs Like Ecstasy

All illegal drugs, whether they are cocaine, ecstasy, or heroin cause high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, and in many cases, sudden death. Cocaine, amphetamines, heroin are particularly bad for the kidneys as they can cause significant damage to the organs over time.


Over-the-counter laxatives are safe to consume for most people. However, some forms of laxatives are prescribed by the doctor to clean a bowel. These laxatives can be harmful to the kidneys. Make sure to consult with your physician and let them know if you have had any history with kidney problems.

What Should You Do?

Now that you are aware of how common drugs can cause damage to your liver and kidneys, make sure not to take any medicine, drug, or controlled substance unless and until you are told by a health professional. 

The most common ailments can be treated with natural sources such as essential oils. Do your best to resort to these remedies before resorting to medication.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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