Medications commonly prescribed for acid reflux disease may be responsible for causing chronic kidney disease in some people. Known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI) these drugs include
Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid and are used by approximately 10 percent of the adult population in the United States.
The study which showed these results was comparing PPI users to those who took histamine-2 receptors which include brands such as Pepcid and Zantac.
Researchers at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego used the FDA Adverse Effect Reporting System (FAERS) database. Out of the approximately 10 million records, they pulled about 43,000 looking for the difference in reported effects of the PPI’s versus the histamine-2.
All of the records in the FAERS database are voluntarily reported. Their findings showed those who used only PPIs reported a kidney-related adverse reaction at a frequency of 5.6 percent. Only 0.7 of histamine-2 users would report any kidney problems.
Researchers found when looking at the control group, patients who took only PPIs were 28.4 times likely to develop chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury (4.2 times more likely), end-stage renal disease (35.5 times more likely) and unspecified kidney problems (8 times more likely). Additionally, those who used PPIs were also more likely to have electrolyte abnormalities, though not as much.
Researchers are calling for more tests as the data does not show PPI as a definite reason for chronic kidney disease. The World Health Organization sees PPI’s as critical for those suffering from
acid reflex issues as these are inexpensive medications and are all obtainable over the counter. However, due to what we now know to be true of many of the most popular brands, you may want to think twice before starting to use one.