Acute interstitial nephritis is a severe type of kidney inflammation that can occur in patients on Prevacid. Without prompt treatment, it can permanently damage the kidneys or cause renal failure.
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Acute interstitial nephritis is a medical term for sudden inflammation in the kidneys. It is almost always caused by allergic reactions to medications in the bloodstream. It causes severe swelling of interstitial tissue in the spaces between tubules, which is why it is sometimes called “tubulo-interstitial nephritis.”
What Causes Interstitial Nephritis?
Over 100 medications are known to cause interstitial nephritis, but antacids in the Proton-Pump Inhibitor (PPI) class cause the vast majority of cases. Patients will need to stop taking Prevacid and all other medications that might be causing kidney inflammation.
What is the problem?
Prevacid is available without a prescription, which is why some people falsely assume it is safe. It is actually associated with a number of severe kidney side effects — including Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and kidney failure.
FDA Updates Prevacid Nephritis Warnings
In fact, evidence linking PPIs and nephritis has been growing since the first case reports were published in the 1990s. However, it was not until December 2014 that the FDA updated the label on Prevacid to include warnings about acute interstitial nephritis.
Studies Linking PPIs and Nephritis
After those warnings were published, a Canadian study found that older adults on PPIs were three times more likely to be diagnosed with acute interstitial nephritis than non-users. Other studies have found 50% increased rates of CKD.
Symptoms of Acute Interstitial Nephritis
- Enlarged kidneys
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Increased or deceased urination
Patients on Prevacid can develop nephritis within a few days, but the early symptoms are easily mistaken for other problems. It usually takes several weeks for symptoms to become severe enough for patients to seek medical attention.
The longer nephritis goes untreated, the higher the risk of complications. Researchers have found that patients can usually recover near-normal kidney function within a few months, but they warn that “permanent impairment of renal function is rather common in the disease.” In severe cases, patients need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
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