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Nephrotoxicity of drugs used in rheumatology: Analgesic nephropathy 

Nephrotoxicity of drugs used in rheumatology: Analgesic nephropathy
Nephrotoxicity of drugs used in rheumatology: Analgesic nephropathy

Marc E. De Broe

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date: 27 September 2020

1. Classic analgesic nephropathy is a specific renal disease characterized by renal papillary necrosis and chronic interstitial nephritis caused by prolonged and excessive consumption of analgesic mixtures.

2. Analgesic nephropathy can be accurately diagnosed at any stage by CT scanning without contrast medium, even in the absence of reliable information on previous analgesic use.

3. The effects of habitual use of analgesics alone or in combination on the progression of other forms of renal disease remain unclear.

4. Well-designed studies are needed to define the nephrotoxicity of analgesics in patients with renal disease. In the meantime it is prudent to continue to advise these patients that acetaminophen should be the non-narcotic analgesic of choice for intermittent use.

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