Another Serious Complication Linked to Proton Pump Inhibitors: Acute Interstitial Nephritis

Use of popular heartburn drugs like Prilosec and Nexium, known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), can lead to serious problems such as kidney disease and even kidney failure. However, there is yet another potentially severe condition that has been linked to PPIs – acute interstitial nephritis.

What is Acute Interstitial Nephritis?

Acute interstitial nephritis is a condition where the areas between the kidney tubules swell. The kidneys perform the important functions of filtering blood and eliminating waste from the body, and the tubules play a vital role in this area. They secrete waste substances into the urine, which is then excreted from the body. Interstitial nephritis can be a chronic problem, but it can also occur suddenly.

When these tubules swell, they can lead to a number of symptoms. These include:

  • A bloated feeling
  • Blood in the urine
  • Confusion
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Exhaustion or fatigue
  • Rashes
  • Swelling
  • Unexpected decrease or increase in urine output
  • Vomiting or nausea

Diagnosis of Acute Interstitial Nephritis

If your doctor suspects that you are having issues with your kidneys, he or she will want to perform a thorough examination to see if you may have acute interstitial nephritis from PPI drugs. You will need to let your doctor know all the medications you are taking, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription drugs.

The doctor will also want to take some blood to test the functioning of your kidneys, and an ultrasound, urinalysis or even a kidney biopsy may be needed.


If the doctor determines that PPI use may have led to your acute interstitial nephritis diagnosis, he or she may simply recommend you stop taking the medication. Or, you may be given an anti-inflammatory drug.

In some cases, however, acute interstitial nephritis can lead to permanent kidney damage that requires either dialysis or even a transplant.

If you have developed acute interstitial nephritis or any other type of health complication affecting the kidneys after taking a PPI drug, get in touch with Baron & Budd as soon as you can. Call 877-629-0481 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.

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