Nephrotoxicity is toxicity in the kidneys. It is a poisonous effect of some substances, both toxic chemicals and medications, on renal function. There are various forms, and some drugs may affect renal function in more than one way. Nephrotoxins are substances displaying nephrotoxicity.
Nephrotoxicity should not be confused with the fact that some medications have a predominantly renal excretion and need their dose adjusted for the decreased renal function (e.g., heparin).
The nephrotoxic effect of most drugs is more profound in patients already suffering from kidney failure.