This drug duo may treat kidney failure, study finds

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In a new study from the Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, researchers found that melatonin strongly reduces kidney failure in people being treated with the antibiotic vancomycin.

They examined 303 hospital patients being treated with vancomycin and found that 101 who also received melatonin had a 63 percent decrease in acute kidney injury.

Globally, antibiotic use is one of the leading causes of drug-induced kidney failure, with more than 13.3 million cases reported each year.

Kidney failure is also linked to an increased risk of death in hospitalized patients. Almost 25% of these patients die in hospitals when toxins build up as they also receive antibiotic treatments for various infections.

Scientists have known from previous studies the ability of vancomycin to induce kidney injury through oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage, and they also knew how melatonin could restore renal mitochondrial function.

Researchers said one of the reasons they believe melatonin reduces kidney failure is its ability to alleviate oxidative stress, which causes cell death and a buildup of toxins that damage the kidneys when patients use vancomycin.

They postulate that melatonin, a natural supplement commonly used as a sleep aid, restores and repairs this kidney function, facilitating the clearance of toxins from the body.

While many patients recover from acute kidney injuries, some do not, resulting in an increased cost of care for hospitalized patients.

Researchers also cautioned that people must only use antibiotics when necessary and not “just in case” because they are not without risk.

The study was the first to examine such human data, and researchers plan further clinical studies on a larger and broader population.

If you care about kidney health, please read studies about these lifestyle habits could protect your kidney health and findings of this type of drug could slow down chronic kidney disease.

For more information about kidney disease, please see recent studies about newer type 2 diabetes drugs have heart and kidney disease benefits, too and results showing that diabetes can dramatically reduce the kidney’s ability clean itself.

The study is published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. One author of the study is Luigi Brunetti.

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