Medication for Children with Renal Tubular Disorders

At NYU Langone, pediatric kidney specialists may prescribe medication and supplements, to be taken daily by mouth, to restore the balance of minerals and other substances in children with renal tubular disorders.

As with dietary strategies, medical treatment for children with renal tubular disorders is highly individualized. That’s because these disorders have different symptoms and cause different mineral or nutritional imbalances. 

Children with renal tubular disorders often need lifelong medical treatment and monitoring to ensure they are getting the appropriate amount of minerals and other nutrients. Examples of medications and supplements include the following.

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate, which neutralizes acids, may be used to treat children with acidosis, which occurs with renal tubular disorders that cause a buildup of acid in the blood. This medication also reduces the risk of kidney stones, especially in children with excess calcium. The amount the doctor prescribes depends on the degree of acidosis and type of renal tubular disorder your child has.

Side effects may include frequent urination, headaches, reduced appetite, and nausea.

Potassium Chloride

This supplement is prescribed for children who have a renal tubular disorder that prevents the absorption of the minerals potassium and chloride. It may also be used to treat children with a disorder such as diabetes insipidus, which results in a loss of potassium through excessive urination. 

Side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.


Diuretics, which increase urination, may be prescribed occasionally to flush out excess minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and sodium. 

Because diuretics increase urination, they can also cause a loss of fluids and other minerals. Our doctors monitor children who are taking diuretics with frequent blood tests to ensure they are getting the appropriate amount of water and minerals.

Follow-Up Care

Kidney specialists at NYU Langone provide careful and frequent monitoring when prescribing medications for babies and children with renal tubular disorders. This ensures that your child is taking the appropriate dosage of medication as he or she grows. 

For babies, checkups may be performed weekly. Children and adolescents may need monitoring once a month or every few months, depending on your child’s symptoms and growth rate. 

Your child’s doctor may refer you to a urologist or other specialist at NYU Langone who can provide surgical treatment if your child develops kidney stones.

Resources for Renal Tubular Disorders in Children
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