Definition of Nephrotoxins / Nephrotoxic

NephrotoxinsNephrotoxins – Substances such as medications or environmental chemicals that damage the glomeruli and the tubules within the nephrons of the kidneys.

Among those most commonly associated with altered kidney function and renal failure are

  • Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic; exposure to these metals is most often occupational
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaids) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen
  • Possibly acetaminophen
  • Contrast dyes used in radiologic procedures
  • Certain antibiotic medications, notably streptomycin and gentamicin
  • organic solvents such as benzene

People who already have compromised kidney function or conditions such as diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure) are at greater risk for kidney damage resulting from nephrotoxins.

Chronic dehydration, such as may occur with diuretic therapy or insufficient water consumption, increases the risk for kidney damage resulting from medications, especially NSAIDs.


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