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Kidney Transplant and Over the Counter Drugs: Safety Information

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 7/20/2010

Kidney transplant patients need to be very careful when choosing which medications to take. Read on to learn more about over the counter drugs kidney transplant patients can take.

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    Kidney transplants are performed when the patients current kidneys are no longer functioning, during end-stage kidney disease. There are several different causes of end-stage kidney disease and chronic renal failure, but diabetes is the most common. End-stage kidney disease ultimately results in death unless a kidney transplant is done. Patients who have had a kidney transplant need to be very careful when choosing which medications to take and should make themselves aware of which over the counter drugs kidney transplant patients can take.

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    Aches and Pains

    over the counter drugs kidney transplant patients can take After the surgery, patients will be provided with pain management. However, this is short term and only meant to get the patient through their recovery. Once this stage is over, a kidney transplant patient can use certain over the counter medications to help alleviate their aches, minor pains, and headaches. They can use acetaminophen medications, such as Tylenol.

    They should not use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil products, naproxen generics, Motrin products, ketoprofen, ibuprofen generics, Nuprin, Aleve products, Midol, or Orudis.

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    Cough

    Those who experience a cough and need something to help alleviate it can use a variety of over the counter cough medicines. These include Guaifenesin, dextromethorphan, Robitussin DM, Robitussin, diphenhydramine, or Vicks 44 Cough Relief.

    Diabetes patients should check the labels to ensure the medicine they choose is free of alcohol and sugar.

    Cough medicines that contain ibuprofen, Nuprin, Aleve, Advil, or naproxen generics should be avoided.

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    Cold and Allergy Symptoms

    When choosing which over the counter drugs kidney transplant patients can take when trying to relieve cold and allergy symptoms, they should look for medications, such as Actifed Cold and Allergy, pseudoephedrine, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold and Cough, Sudafed, or Benadryl.

    Diabetic patients should check the labels to ensure the medicine they choose is free of alcohol and sugar.

    High blood pressure patients should use Coricidin HBP, diphenhydramine, Chlor-Trimeton, generic saline nose spray, Ocean saline nose spray, Benadryl, or chlorpheniramine. They should not use decongestants containing pseudoephedrine, Sudafed, Dayquil, Robitussin CF, Claritin D 12 and 24 hour, Tylenol Cold, Nyquil, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold and Cough, Afrin, and several others that the patients doctor can tell them about.

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    Constipation

    If constipation persists for longer than a week, the patient should contact their transplant coordinator. If over the counter medicines are suggested, Metamucil, Senokot, Correctal, docusate generics, Fiber-Con, Dulcolax, and Colace can be used.

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    Diarrhea

    If diarrhea persists for longer than a week, the patient should contact their transplant coordinator. If over the counter medicines are suggested, Ioperamide generics or Imodium can be used.

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    Resources

    Ohio State University. (2010). Over the Counter Medicines for Lung, Kidney, and Pancreas Transplant Patients. Retrieved on July 15, 2010 from Ohio State University: http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/PatientEd/Materials/PDFDocs/surgery/transpla/OTCMedLungKidPanc.pdf

    Loma Linda University Medical Center. (2009). Post Kidney Transplant. Retrieved on July 15, 2010 from Lima Linda University Medical Center: http://lomalindahealth.org/medical-center/our-services/transplantation/resources/post-kidney-transplant.html

    Medline Plus. (2009). Kidney Transplant. Retrieved on July 15, 2010 from Medline Plus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003005.htm

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    Image Credits

    Pills: Leonardini – sxc.hu