PPI Use Increases the Risk of Causing Kidney Damage
March 3, 2017
A recent study has linked proton pump inhibitor (PPIs), medications used to suppress heartburn and acid reflux disease, to increased risk of kidney damage.
The five-year study, published in Kidney International, looked at 125,596 patients prescribed over-the-counter PPI medications, such as Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec, as well as those who used H2 blockers like Zantac or Pepcid.
Over the course of the study, researchers found that those who took PPIs on a regular basis were at a much higher risk for chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury than users of H2 blockers.
Heartburn affects approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population and nearly 15 million Americans are prescribed PPI medications.
Health experts are concerned that many of those prescribed PPIs to treat heartburn and acid reflux disease may have developed kidney problems without displaying any warning signs.
Other Health Risks a Concern for PPIs
Kidney damage is not the only serious health hazard that can result from long-term PPI use. Health experts are concerned PPI use can lead to other serious health risks, such as increased risk of:
- Heart attack
- Dementia (in older individuals)
- Blood clots or blockages
Research has shown that PPIs may alter an enzyme in your body that reduces its levels of nitric oxide, which is a crucial component for the health of your blood vessels.
This can decrease the flow of blood vessels and cause blockage to vital organs, such as the heart and brain, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
A 2015 study on PPI use found that users under the age of 55 were 40 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who did not use the medication.
Preventing Heartburn Safely
Heartburn and acid reflux occurs when acid backwash from the stomach travels up to the esophagus.
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve between the stomach and the esophagus, is designed to prevent this from happening, but can be weakened due to a poor diet and heavy alcohol and tobacco use.
Health experts have stated that the best way to avoid heartburn is to refrain from over eating unhealthy foods and smoking tobacco, as well as limiting the amount of alcohol you consume.
Several international studies have linked long-term PPI use to serious health problems. Health experts have advised those who depend on these medications to consider alternative options to relieve the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux, as well as changing one’s habits to avoid heartburn.
If you or someone you love believes that long-term PPI use has caused severe health problems, contact our defective drug lawyers.
We will review your situation through a free legal consultation and determine if your condition enables you to take legal action. Our consultation comes with no obligations and we only work on a contingency fee basis, which means we will not charge you any legal fees unless you recover damages for your claim.
Call 1-800-706-3000 if you have been harmed by a defective drug.
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