Healthy Living

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Affect the Kidneys

Here is a short list of RA drugs that might harm the kidneys:

  • NSAIDS: Regular doses of over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, usually don’t pose a problem for relatively healthy people, says Miller. However, all NSAIDs reduce blood flow to the kidneys, which could pose further issues for those with reduced kidney function.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, cause fluid retention, which, in turn, can raise blood pressure. Over time, this can aggravate kidney disease, says Miller.
  • Methotrexate: This drug is eliminated through the kidneys. If your kidneys aren’t working as well as they should be, it can build up in your bloodstream, potentially causing an overdose and possibly death.
  • Cyclosporine: A powerful immunosuppressant, cyclosporin may decrease kidney function with continued use. About “half of patients develop mild kidney problems while on cyclosporine, and may need to adjust their dosage or discontinue the medication,” according to the American College of Rheumatology.