Many patients with rheumatic diseases have their management complicated by renal problems. Renal failure modifies the metabolism of many drugs, especially by retention. Questions often arise about the effects of renal failure on the handling of drugs commonly used in rheumatology. For which drugs must we be especially concerned about increased toxicity? Patients on chronic dialysis may also need a variety of drugs for rheumatic disease. How are our drugs dialyzed, and which of these can be safety used and how best to use them?Decisions about dosing of rheumatic drugs are often required for the patients with chronic renal insufficiency or on long-term dialysis, although many drugs have not been formally studied in these settings. Patients with renal insufficiency are excluded from most drug trials. Data for some of these drugs have to be extrapolated based on the information available about the pharmacokinetics of the drug.This review addresses dosing of commonly used drugs in rheumatology in patients with chronic renal insufficiency or failure. It is compiled from a MEDLINE search of papers dealing with renal handling of antirheumatic drugs and suggestions for dose adjustments for these drugs. Drugs reviewed include commonly used disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS), drugs used for treatment of gout, commonly used nonsteroidal antnflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and the newer COX-2 inhibitors.