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JLeslie's avatar

What’s the chance my kidney damage is permanent?

Asked by JLeslie (65522points) November 14th, 2018 from iPhone

I know no one here can really tell me my prognosis, I’m just looking for personal stories (either you or someone you know) and any direction towards info on the internet.

My kidney values in my bloodwork have always been normal. Recently, I started new medications for cholesterol (Zetia) and blood pressure. The blood pressure drugs I was on my third because of side effects with the first two, and now suddenly my kidney function is decreased. I believe it is from the latest BP drug Losartin.

My values were:
eGFR – 52
Creatine Kinase, total – 145
Creatinine 1.21

I stopped taking the medicine and a month later (the tests were a month apart, but I had only stopped the meds 3 weeks) the numbers were:

eGFR – 59
Creatinine – 1.09

My eGFR is always consistently in the very high 60’s or low 70’s for many years, and had been tested 3 months before the first test with low numbers. Do you know if some people have much higher values? Is the 70’s already on the lowish side? The range for normal is >60, but I just wondered if some people have much higher numbers.

I know my number is moving back in the right direction, and I’m getting tested again next week. I’m pretty annoyed about the whole thing.

I know dehydration can affect the number, there is no reason for me to think I was simply dehydrated. The second test I made sure I drank adequate water the morning before the test. Plus, as I said, I’ve never had such a low number, and I am tested minimum twice a year for about the last 10 years.

Thanks ahead of time for your input.

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19 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

This is serious; there is a recall on Losartan because it might be contaminated.

If you are still taking Losartan ===> Patients with questions about the recall can contact Sandoz Inc. at 800–525-8747 or email

It is used for people with kidney disease and diabetes so it should not cause damage.

Mariah's avatar

I don’t know anything useful, I just want to wish you the best of luck in recovering and hope that you get a resolution for this quickly. Nothing like waiting around to find out how messed up your body is. Heal well!

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I think the recall is a cancer risk, and it was for batches in October and November. I stopped taking it the beginning of October.

@Mariah Thanks!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Glad I checked in. I’m on Losartan.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I take 100mg.
I called my pharmacist and he said the recall was only for one particular brand and they don’t carry that brand so it’s all good.

LadyMarissa's avatar

American Kidney Fund has some good info on the subject!!!

NOT all tests are correct, you need to be under 60 for 3 months straight before you’re considered serious, age & weight weighs heavily on the results. I hope this gives you a place to start!!!

JLeslie's avatar

@LadyMarissa Thanks. I had read their site. I still think some damage was done. It can’t be a coincidence that this started with that drug. I googled and there are cases of Losartan and kidney damage and failure.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@JLeslie I agree with you & that’s WHY I’m leery of taking most pharmaceuticals. When they’re advertised on TV, I listen to the side effects & IF they recommend you notify your doctor of any kidney problems before taking that tells me it’s NOT good for your kidneys!!! I’m NOT a doctor & could well be wrong; but, I find the human body to be an amazing creation & I feel it has the ability to heal itself when the chemical being used is removed from the equation!!!

Where’s Caravanfan when you need him??? LoL

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

If your numbers change abruptly after starting a course of meds I’d be skeptical as well regardless of what your doc says. You’re right to start questioning your meds. I hope no lasting damage has been done! I also believe our bodies are capable of incredible healing once the problem is removed.
My last EGFR was 96 and the abnormal value for that lab is below 59. Not sure where that is exactly on the healthy side. I have not been that nice to my kidneys over the years either. You’re smart to watch this carefully.
@carvanfan was probably run off by the politics as of late… and I don’t blame him.

JLeslie's avatar

@LadyMarissa It’s not like I had “problems.” That’s the problem with reduced kidney function, you often don’t know it’s happening. The only reason I knew…here’s where I go into my typical rant about doctors…was because I had asked for the test, unrelated to this particular medication. When I saw my result I called the doctor and the office said they didn’t have any test results. I told them I could email them, s d that person said I can’t email it. So I said, “well how about you contact Quest for the results the doctor ordered that you never received and please have the doctor order a repeat test for me.” I heard nothing back.

A few days later I went in person and gave them my test results and they said the doctor was out, but they would call me.


I went back and no record of the results I gave them. So, I got a little annoyed, blah blah, and left with my order for my kidney tests to do the repeat.

This time results are low, but better, very close to normal as you see above. Doctor’s office calls and says stop my medication, I already did that on my own, and to repeat the tests in two weeks. I asked the person who called me if they realize that was my second test, and I received no clear answer,


I need to switch doctors so badly. That office is awful. The one good thing is that doctor will write for the tests I ask for generally when I’m with her in an appointment, and because if that I found out about the low kidney function. My cardiologist didn’t want to write for the tests.

I certainly didn’t want to be “glad” I was annoying and asked for the tests. I hate being right about this sort of thing.

augustlan's avatar

This is just my own personal experience.

I’ve had kidney disease (IgA Nephropathy) for about 24 years. I also have a condition (Ehlers-Danlos, previously misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia) that causes me severe and chronic pain. Even though NSAIDS are contraindicated for kidney disease, I took a prescription NSAID (diclofenac) every day for 20-ish years in order to be somewhat functional and avoid narcotics. It was a calculated risk, and for a long time the medication didn’t appear to have any negative impact on my kidneys.

After years and years of stable kidney test numbers, suddenly my kidney function declined and my protein loss increased last year, so my doctor immediately pulled me off the NSAID. I can never take one again. The good news: the numbers improved after I was off the medication for a while. The bad news: they never got back to where they were before the sudden decline. Worse: after that initial improvement, the numbers are going back downhill.

TLDR: For me, it seems to have been partially temporary, but mainly permanent.

And that, kids, is how I met narcotics. Tramadol for the semi-functional win!

JLeslie's avatar

@augustlan Thanks. Do you happen to know what your eGFR and Creantine were for all those years when it was semi stable but low? Obviously, it’s impossible to know if your experience will have any similarities to mine, but I’m just wondering what number your doctor thought was ok to live with for a while and still take medicine. I don’t trust my doctor at all. I will be switching doctors don’t worry.

One of my biggest concerns in the immediate future is I wanted to take some medicine again (totally unrelated to BP and cholesterol) that will probably be a strain on my kidneys and now I’m nervous about it.

augustlan's avatar

Prior to the sudden decline, all my kidney numbers were normal except protein, which was quite high at diagnosis, but came down some and didn’t change much once they put me on blood pressure meds. (I don’t have high blood pressure, but the meds reduce protein loss through the kidneys.)

Then last year, I was given a quick finger prick test prior to an MRI w/ contrast as a precaution, and suddenly my creatinine was bad and my GFR was 31, which indicates stage 3 kidney disease. (They wouldn’t do the MRI because of it.)

The most recent results I can find at the moment are from a renal panel in Feb 2018, which doesn’t give me GFR.
Creatinine: Mine is 152, range is 20–320, so it’s normal again.
Protein/Creatinine Ratio: Mine is 2599, range is 21–161, so that’s real high.
Protein, Total: Mine is 395, range is 5–24, so it’s high.

JLeslie's avatar

@augustlan Thank you so much for going to the effort of looking up your numbers and writing this out, it’s very helpful. I was wondering about the protein—so that was a blood test? I thought it was a urine test. I’m just starting to get familiar with the kidney stuff, it doesn’t effect anyone in my family, I have no experience with it.

augustlan's avatar

No problem…I was interested in looking them over again, myself!

For years I had to do it via a 24 hour urine test. Such a pain in the ass! But now they can get the info from a blood test (somehow), too. Not sure if it’s as accurate (or maybe even more accurate)?

JLeslie's avatar

I’m going to do some reading about the protein tests. I was wondering why my doctor didn’t test protein now that there are two below normal tests.

—On a side note, one of our school classmates just posted on Facebook that she is in kidney failure.—

augustlan's avatar

Crap. Off to check FB now.

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