Prescribing medicines in people with renal impairment
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Prescribing medicines in people with renal impairment

Sally Porter Lecturer–practitioner in prescribing and medicines optimisation, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your knowledge of prescribing for adults with stable chronic kidney disease (CKD)

  • To increase your understanding of pharmacokinetics in the context of renal impairment

  • To recognise the importance of dose adjustment when prescribing for people with CKD

Kidney disease is a common occurrence and alters how the body processes many drugs. Therefore, prescribers must consider the person’s renal function before prescribing medicines and may need to amend the dose of renally excreted drugs. At present, there is limited data regarding dose adjustment in renal impairment, so prescribers require knowledge of pharmacokinetics. Prescribers also need to understand how the kidneys process drugs when functioning normally to be able to predict how renal impairment may affect pharmacokinetics. This article offers practical guidance on prescribing for adults who have stable chronic kidney disease and do not meet the criteria for specialist assessment. It also explores important steps that prescribers can take to optimise medicines use in this population.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2023.e12218

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Porter S (2023) Prescribing medicines in people with renal impairment. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2023.e12218

Published online: 30 October 2023

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