Be Aware – Medications NOT to Take Before Dialysis

Medications to Avoid Before Dialysis

Just like any other treatment procedures, there is also a list of things you need to be aware of before proceeding with dialysis. Because administration of drugs prior to dialysis may cause serious medical risks to patients, it is paramount to always check which medications are not to be taken before the treatment.

For dialysis, below are some of the medications not to be taken before the procedure.

  1. Blood pressure medications
  2. Antibiotic medications

Other medications may also be held depending on the factors described below.

Reason for holding medications

As dialysis works by filtering and cleansing the blood (the way the kidney would), it can also dialyse medication which in turn would render the affected medication taken prior to the procedure ineffective.


Whether the drug taken is affected by dialysis is distinguished by several physicochemical characteristics of the drug. These include the following:

  1. Molecular size – smaller molecular weight substances pass more easily through the dialysis membrane.
  2. Protein binding – drug-protein complex is often too large to cross the dialysis membrane.
  3. Volume of distribution – drugs with a large volume of distribution are likely to be minimally dialysed.
  4. Water solubility – drugs with high water solubility will be dialysed to a greater extent than those with high lipid solubility.

The dialysis procedure’s technical aspects also plays a role on whether a drug is removed by dialysis.

Dialysis Membrane

You may have noticed the mention of dialysis membrane as we elaborate on the factors. This is because its characteristics – the pore size, surface area, and geometry – plays a big role in the dialysis of drugs.

It is worth noting that in peritoneal dialysis the peritoneal membrane is somewhat larger that of haemodialysis membrane in hemodialysis dialysis.

Ask for professional help

A great resource for knowing which medication to hold is your doctor and/or inhouse dialysis nurse. These professionals know what medications to give and hold to a dialysis patient, so confirming with them before heading into the procedure allows you to avoid medication problems.

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