patient stories
Peritoneal dialysis at
home using Amia
see his story

A Canada-wide cycling
trip with dialysis
see his story

Coping with CKD
thanks to home dialysis
see her story

What is hemodialysis?Understanding medications
Guidelines on Taking Medications:
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  • You may need to take medication in addition to your hemodialysis treatments
  • These medications treat problems related to kidney disease or your specific kidney needs
  • An important part of your treatment is to take your medications prescribed by your doctor
  • All medications must be taken under the careful supervision of your doctor, pharmacist and nurse
  • This is particularly important because your kidneys no longer work as before
  • Your doctor will prescribe the medication at the doses you need. Take it as prescribed
  • Never take any over-the-counter or prescription medication without first discussing it with your doctor or nurse

Your doctor may prescribe certain common medications such as:

Type of medication Action
Phosphorus binding agents
  • Phosphorus helps maintain bone health
  • Phosphorus binding agents bind to the phosphorus of food present in the intestines in order to eliminate it in the stool.
Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D and calcium work together to ensure bone strength. The active form of vitamin D is reduced with kidney failure.
Blood pressure-regulating medications
  • These medications are intended to facilitate the control of blood pressure. It’s important to monitor your blood pressure daily while taking these medications.
Iron and erythropoietin
  • Iron contributes to the production of red blood cells. You may need to take iron pills at home; sometimes the nurse might administer it during your treatment in intravenous form.
  • Erythropoietin (EPO) is a medication administered by injection that helps you produce more red blood cells. You will learn how to inject the medication yourself at home or have nurse inject it for you when you get your dialysis at the hospital
  • Heparin is an anticoagulant medication; it prevents clots from obstructing your vascular access and dialysis circuit during treatment
  • Antibiotics fight infections

Always keep an up-to-date list related to your health.

  • Medications including the dose and frequency prescribed
  • Medical history
  • Medical procedures
  • Allergies
  • Phone numbers and name of the hemodialysis clinic