Renal failure and acute interstitial nephritis associated with NSAIDs

Lisa Ho, Andy K.H. Lim, Francine Tanner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a recognised cause of acute interstitial nephritis. Some NSAIDs are freely available as over-the-counter preparations. There are potential serious consequences with prolonged unsupervised self-medication with NSAIDs. Aim: To describe two cases of renal failure involving over-the-counter use of NSAIDs, with a focus on interstitial nephritis. Clinical features: Both patients obtained over-the-counter NSAIDs and self-medicated without supervision. One patient was taking ibuprofen for chronic pain and subsequently started taking diclofenac, as recommended by his chiropractor. The second patient started taking ibuprofen for severe, unrelenting pain. The aetiology of the pain was not diagnosed prior to admission. Both patients presented with systemic symptoms and renal failure. Acute interstitial nephritis was proven on biopsy and the suspected offending NSAIDs were ceased in both cases. In both cases renal function improved after cessation of NSAIDs. Conclusion: Primary care pharmacists should inform patients of the potential adverse effects of NSAIDs and advise them to seek a diagnosis for their pain if prolonged use is contemplated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-221
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes

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