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Impaired kidney function: supporting the safe use of medicines for patients.

Nursing Standard 2024 April 23
Due to the increasing incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD), nurses in most healthcare settings are likely to care for patients with some degree of impaired kidney function. Impaired kidney function can adversely affect the way the body excretes, absorbs, distributes and metabolises medicines (pharmacokinetics), potentially resulting in a wide range of drug-related complications. This article provides an overview of the effects of impaired kidney function on pharmacokinetics and the importance of accurate drug dose adjustments for patients with related conditions. It also discusses various aspects of medicines use in patients with AKI, the pharmacological management of patients with CKD and the use of immunosuppressive therapy in patients who have had a kidney transplant. The authors consider the role of the nurse in ensuring safe medicines use for patients with impaired kidney function throughout the article.

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