Analgesics or painkillers are very common medications that a doctor prescribes or a person may buy over the counter to relieve different kinds of pain (of any kind). They are usually safe when taken appropriately but may be harmful to the kidneys when abuse occurs. There are instances when the medication is taken correctly but still causes acute kidney failure.
Analgesic nephropathy is a chronic kidney disease that occurs when there is a long period of painkiller(s) ingestion (usually years). Conditions that are likely to be associated with the constant need for painkiller medications are any chronic pain syndrome such as arthritis and headache. Not all types of analgesics cause analgesic nephropathy. Analgesic nephropathy may lead to kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant.