Home > Medications > Medicines to stop taking on sick days

September 2019 | Medications

Are you feeling sick with symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea? If so, your body is at risk of becoming dehydrated.

Some medicines can worsen this side effect and temporarily worsen your kidney function when you are sick.

If you are sick and unable to drink enough fluids to keep hydrated, STOP taking the following medicines:

  • Blood pressure pills: Medicines ending in “pril” OR “sartan.
    For example: enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, perindopril, quinapril and ramipril. For example: candesartan, irbesartan, losartan, telmisartan and valsartan.
  • Diuretics: Sometimes called “water pills.” For example: furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, metolazone and spironolactone.
  • Metformin: A diabetes medicine.
  • Other diabetes pills: Medicines ending in “ide” AND/OR “flozin.” For example: gliclazide, glimepiride and glyburide. For example: canagliflozin, dapagliflozin and empagliflozin.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: These medicines should not be taken if you have kidney disease. If you are using them, they MUST BE STOPPED. For example: Aspirin/ASA/acetylsalicylic acid (except ASA 81 mg or a baby Aspirin), celecoxib (Celebrex®), diclofenac (Arthotec®), ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®), indomethacin and naproxen (Aleve®).

Be careful not to take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (which are commonly found in pain medicines (e.g. Advil and cold remedies).

If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels more often when you are sick. If they run too low or too high, contact a health-care professional such as your pharmacist or doctor.

Restart the medicines when you are well (after eating and drinking normally for 24-48 hours). If you are unsure about the safety of your medicines, please contact your Kidney (Renal) Health Clinic.

Modified from the Canadian Diabetes Association & Scottish Patient Safety Programme.

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