Drugs That Cause Kidney Cysts: 5 Medications That Can Harm your Kidneys !!

Kidney cysts are disorders of the kidneys caused by the appearance of fluid-filled sacs in kidney tissue. Kidney cysts can appear in one or both kidneys in the human body. However, do you know what medications can cause kidney cysts to form? Find out more about, Drugs That Cause Kidney Cysts: 5 Medications That Can Harm Your Kidneys!!

Kidney cysts generally do not cause symptoms that are so identifiable, so sometimes people have them without knowing the cause. Various medications can affect even aggravating your kidneys.


What causes kidney cysts?

The actual cause of kidney cysts is still unknown, in contrast to polycystic kidneys which are caused by heredity. However, kidney cysts are thought to occur because of the surface layer that begins to weaken, then forms a pocket. The bag is then filled with fluid, detached until it becomes a cyst.

Cases of kidney cyst disease are more common in men than women. In addition, kidney cysts are also easier to occur in people over the age of 50 years and diabetics.


How common are kidney cysts?

Kidney cysts are a fairly rare condition. It is estimated that this condition affects about 5% of the population in general. In addition, the disease often occurs in men and affects about 65 – 70% of kidney mass.

Older people are more susceptible to developing this condition in their kidneys, which is potentially up to 25 – 33%. People who have kidney cysts can be overcome by recognizing and controlling existing risk factors.


What are the factors that can increase kidney cysts?

  • Age

The risk of developing kidney cysts increases rapidly with age. Usually, this condition occurs a lot in the age group 40-50 years and above.

  • Gender

Men have a greater risk than women for kidney cysts.

  • Genetic

Polycystic kidney disease is a condition inherited in the family. If you have a family with a history of polycystic kidney disease, chances are you’ll experience it too.

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoke


Is kidney cyst disease dangerous?

Kidney cysts are generally benign, harmless to the body, and rarely cause symptoms. However, it is better if this disease can be detected as early as possible, because there is a risk of complications if left without proper treatment. It is undeniable, kidney cysts can also occur in men and women. Learn more about Kidney Cysts in Men and Women: Diagnosis and Treatment.

Drugs That Cause Kidney Cysts: 5 Medications That Can Harm your Kidneys !!

Drugs That Cause Kidney Cysts: 5 Medications That Can Harm Your Kidneys

The kidneys dispose of waste and extra fluids in the body by filtering the blood to produce urine. Kidneys also serve to maintain electrolyte levels to be balanced. When something interferes with the kidneys, they can not do their job, so these functions can slow down or stop altogether.

Here are 5 drugs that have harmful effects on the kidneys:


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Prescription NSAIDs including ketoprofen, OTC versions such as Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen), can narrow the blood vessels leading to the kidneys. Decreased blood flow is one of the factors that can cause tissue to die in the kidneys.



A wide variety of antibiotics can harm the kidneys in different ways. Aminoglycosides such as tobramycin can cause toxicity in “renal tubule cells”, which are more sensitive to the toxic effects of the drug because its role in renal filtration exposes them to high levels of toxins.

Sulfonamides, a group of antimicrobials, can produce insoluble crystals in the urine, thus blocking the flow of urine, and vancomycin can cause swelling and inflammation of the kidneys.


Antiviral drugs

Antivirals such as acyclovir, which is used for herpes, chickenpox, shingles, and Valtrex (valaciclovir), can cause swelling as well as inflammation of the kidneys. Not only that, but this drug can also produce crystals that will not dissolve. Medications can cause inflammation in some parts of the kidneys, often due to immune reactions or responses from allergies.


Anti rejection post-transplant medications

Antidepressant drugs including cyclosporine and tacrolimus can narrow blood vessels located near the kidneys, resulting in a decrease in blood flow as well as kidney function.



Water pills such as hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide, used for high blood pressure and edema. This can cause dehydration, swelling, and also inflammation of the kidneys.

Although symptoms of kidney toxicity can vary from person to person, the signs can be a decrease in the amount of urine, swelling in the legs, or ankles due to fluid retention, fatigue, nausea, confusion, shortness of breath, pressure, or pain in the chest.


The Need to Monitor Kidney Function With Certain Medications

After an initial assessment of renal function, the doctor should consider regular monitoring, especially if it has already started or increased the dose of drugs associated with nephrotoxicity, especially those used chronically in patients with multiple risk factors for impaired renal function.

If there are signs of kidney damage, the provider should review the medication you are taking to identify which one is causing the problem. If it is found that there are several drugs and the patient is clinically stable, the doctor should start by stopping the most recent drug from being added to the patient’s treatment regimen.

Once treated, further damage to the kidneys can be minimized by keeping blood pressure stable, hydrated. Temporarily avoid the use of other drugs that can cause nephrotoxicity.


What size kidney cyst should be operated on?

Most doctors recommend partial surgery for cysts smaller than 4 cm in size, which will remove the cyst but retain as much of the rest of the kidneys as possible.


Are kidney cysts the same as kidney stones?

Most of the kidney stones are formed out along with urine without causing complaints. If the kidney stones are large (more than 2-3 mm), it can only cause complaints due to a clogged urinary tract. While kidney cysts are the appearance of fluid-filled sacs in the kidneys.


Complications of Kidney Cysts

Cyst rupture

For people who have experienced a ruptured kidney cyst, it will cause severe pain in the back or waist. Precisely between the ribs and pelvis.


Infection of cysts

If the kidneys become infected, the sufferer may experience pain and fever.


Urination disorders

If the urinary tract is blocked due to a cyst, the sufferer may experience difficulty urinating and swelling of the kidneys (hydronephrosis).


How to prevent the risk of kidney damage?

Here are some tips that can help prevent the risk of damage to the kidneys:

  • When using over-the-counter medications, it is recommended that you pay close attention to the label and take the drug exactly as recommended.
  • If possible, avoid taking medications such as NSAIDs for long periods. Use of any drug if consumed for a long time, even OTC and herbs, should be under the guidance of your health care provider.
  • Make sure you don’t take the drug as often as possible or with stronger potential than needed. This is because it is a common source of poisoning.
  • Drink enough fluids to release toxins in the body. Dehydration is a known risk factor for kidney failure, as it can cause the drug to become too concentrated and persist in the system for too long.
  • Avoid taking NSAIDs during pregnancy, although Tylenol (acetaminophen) will not be dangerous. Kidney infections are more common during pregnancy and can cause the baby’s weight at birth to below or allow premature birth.

Avoid drinking alcohol, as it can lead to dehydration, increased blood pressure, and liver disease, which puts you at greater risk of kidney dysfunction.

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