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Redmond Regional Medical Center

Acute Interstitial Nephritis


Acute interstitial nephritis is a kidney disorder. The kidneys are unable to filter waste and fluid properly because of inflammation.

Anatomy of the Kidney
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Acute interstitial nephritis can be caused by:

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of acute interstitial nephritis include:

  • Drug or medication use (adults)
  • Infection (children)


Acute interstitial nephritis may cause:

  • Decrease in urine output
  • Blood in urine
  • Side or loin pain
  • Swelling of the body
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Aching joints
  • Fever
  • Rash


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:

  • Blood Tests
  • Urine tests
  • Kidney ultrasound
  • Kidney biopsy—may be done before certain medications are prescribed for treatment


Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment will depend on the cause. For example, if medications are causing acute interstitial nephritis, your doctor may stop the medication, reduce the dosage, or prescribe a different one.

Treatment options include the following:


Medications for acute interstitial nephritis may include:

  • Antibiotics for bacterial infection
  • Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation


Some people with interstitial nephritis need dialysis. During dialysis, a machine does the work of your kidneys by removing waste from the blood.


To help reduce your chances of acute interstitial nephritis, your doctor may suggest you avoid certain medications, such as penicillin or NSAIDs.

Revision Information

  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

  • National Kidney Foundation

  • Health Canada

  • Kidney Foundation of Canada

  • Acute interstitial nephritis. DynaMed website. Available at: Updated December 9, 2014. Accessed May 8, 2015.

  • Kodner CM, Kudrimoti A. Diagnosis and management of acute interstitial nephritis. Am Fam Physician. 2003;67(12):2527-2534.

  • Plakoglannis R, Nogid A. Acute interstitial nephritis associated with coadministration of vancomycin and ceftriaxone: Case series and review of the literature. Pharmacotherapy. 2007:27(10):1456-1461.

  • Sierra F, Suzrez M, Rey M, Vela MF. Systematic review: Proton pump inhibitor-associated acute interstitial nephritis. Aliment Pharmaco Ther. 2007:26:545-553.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. Redmond Regional Medical Center does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.