Prilosec Kidney Inflammation (Nephritis)

Prilosec, a popular antacid medication used by millions of people, can cause a serious form of kidney inflammation called acute interstitial nephritis. Proper treatment of this condition is important to prevent kidney failure.

Acute Interstitial Nephritis

Prilosec and other popular heart burn drugs called proton pump inhibitors are used by millions to treat GERD and other gastric disorders related to the overproduction of stomach acid. Because these drugs are so common, most people believe they are completely safe. But like any other medication, proton pump inhibitors can cause a wide variety of side effects, ranging from mild to severe.

Acute interstitial nephritis is one of the most serious complications associated with the use of Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitor. This condition results in the inflammation of the kidney tubules and is frequently caused by a hypersensitivity reaction to a medication. Acute interstitial nephritis is seen in about 15% of patients hospitalized for kidney failure. While kidney injury is generally reversible, about 30 to 70% of patients do not recover normal renal function.

If left untreated, acute interstitial nephritis can progress to acute kidney failure (end-stage renal disease or ESRD), so it’s important to contact your doctor if you experience any of the following while using Prilosec:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Fever
  • Increased or decreased urine output
  • Mental status changes (drowsiness, confusion, coma)
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Rash
  • Swelling of the body, any area
  • Weight gain (from retaining fluid)

Reports Linking Proton Pump Inhibitors to Nephritis

Information regarding the potential for Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors to cause acute interstitial nephritis was not included on the drug’s labels until 2014. However, the first reports linking the medications to the condition appeared in the medical literature as early as 1992: Read More.

  • 1992: A case of acute interstitial nephritis related to the use of a proton pump inhibitor was published in the American Journal of Medicine.
  • 2005: Two additional cases of nephritis were reported by Austrian researchers, including one in which a 63-year-old man developed nephritis after using a proton pump inhibitor for just three weeks. The second patient required long-term dialysis.
  • 2015: Research published in CMAJ Open suggested that seniors who began treatment with proton pump inhibitors were three times more likely to develop nephritis or other kidney complications compared to their peers who did not take the medications.

Legal Help for Victims of Prilosec Nephritis

Victims of acute interstitial nephritis that may have been caused by Prilosec could be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages related to their injury. To learn more about filing a Prilosec lawsuit, please call (888) 994-5118.

  1. Renal and Neurology News (2014) “PPI-Induced Acute Interstitial Nephritis May Be On the Rise”
  2. FDA (2015) “Prilosec (omeprazole) Delayed-Release Capsules, Prilosec (omeprazole magnesium) For Delayed Release Oral Suspension”
  3. Journal of Medicine (1992) “Acute interstitial nephritis due to omeprazole.”
  4. The Medical Journal of Australia (2005) “Acute interstitial nephritis secondary to esomeprazole”
  5. HealthLine (N.D.) “Interstitial Nephritis”
Last Modified: June 9, 2016

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