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Kidney Diseases

Alcohol Consumption of Kidney Transplant Recipient

07/23/2009

Question:

I`m involved with a 45 yo man with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). He received a transplant a few years ago. Once a week he can drink 3-6 strong margaeritas and he`ll sometimes have a couple of beers during the week. He feels there is no harm in his drinking. I`m concerned it could impair the functioning of his healthy kidney or exacerbate impairment of the liver.

Is he correct in thinking that his drinking will not lead to rejection or failure of his kidney?

Answer:

There are few if any direct toxic effects of alcohol on the normal or transplanted kidney. Thus, consumption of alcohol in moderation is not felt to be harmful. The biggest concern with use of alcohol after organ transplantation is the concern that abusive consumption may interfere with compliance with immunosuppression and, thus, pose a risk for allograft rejection.

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Response by:

Donald E Hricik, MD Donald E Hricik, MD
Professor of Medicine
Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University