Renal: Information sources

Last updated: Sunday, July 12, 2015

If you have a renal pharmacist in your Trust then ask them for advice about managing any patient where you are not sure.

For straightforward questions about dose adjustment in renal disease, start with the SPC and then the Renal Drug Database (Radcliffe Publishing). Both of these sources tend to give practical advice on dosing according to the extent of impaired renal function. An alternative book that some Pharmacy departments may have is Drug Prescribing in Renal Failure (American College of Physicians). Note that this is a US source and so licensed doses quoted here may be different to those in the UK.

The website Think Kidneys is a helpful NHS resource with videos, information leaflets, and other resources for patients and professionals. In the Resources section there are a suite of tools and educational materials aimed at pharmacists. A particularly valuable tool is the Medicines Optimisation Toolkit for Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) which helps you choose and review medicines in these patients.

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For specific medicines, the manufacturer’s Medical Information department may have some extra information to that given in SPCs.

Martindale (or Micromedex if you have access) can be helpful before you consider undertaking an Embase or Medline search. These searches can be quite difficult to do in practice.

There are some Q&As about prescribing selected medicines in renal disease available via the SPS website.

Think about whether there may be expert guidance about the medical condition you have been asked about from a Royal College or other specialist body/hospital. Sometimes their advice will include options for selected groups of patients such as those with renal disease. You may be able to find these through NICE Evidence Search.

For enquiries about drug-induced renal failure, don’t forget all your ADR resources.

Be careful about conducting a general internet search on this subject. If you do, you may like to look at our brief guide to evaluating websites about medicines.

Presenting your answer 

Once you’ve asked sufficient questions, gathered the information required and assessed it, you’ll need to provide an answer. As a reminder, we offer some general guidance on answering clinical problems. You might like to refresh your memory if you’ve not looked at this recently.