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Links Between Proton Pump Inhibitors and Kidney Failure or Disease

It happens often. Medical treatment for one issue leads to another as side effects take over. But, what happens when serious adverse effects leave you with debilitating pain or, even worse, disease or failure of a major organ?

We’ve recently received information about proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), or heartburn medications which are either over-the-counter or prescribed, and their links to an increased risk for kidney disease or kidney failure. Common name brands include Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, and they are among the most commonly used drugs worldwide. Are you taking any of these drugs or know someone who is? Share these findings with them.

PPI's & Kidney Issues

PPIs have been used for more than three decades by individuals seeking relief from gastrointestinal issues, including GERD, stomach ulcers or other acid-related disorders, and they were prescribed as an acid-reduction agent. PPI usage increased significantly with more than 14.9 million patients receiving 157 million prescriptions in 2012 alone, and sales of PPIs totaled approximately $13.6 billion worldwide in 2009.

While commonly reported adverse effects include headache, dizziness, nausea, and abdominal pain, PPI’s can also have severe, long-term side effects that lead to pneumonia, vitamin B12 deficiencies or issues related to the kidney. This includes an increased risk for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), which is a gradual loss of kidney function over time. It can last for years or a lifetime and requires a medical diagnosis. With the kidney’s inability to filter out waste, it will simply build up causing kidney damage or kidney function loss. The damage can be so severe that some consumers need a kidney transplant.

See the recent study by JAMA and the results, which indicate a risk of CKD, and this informational article by Medscape.

If you are taking PPIs, please know the risks involved and speak with your doctor about your concerns and the balance of risks versus benefits. In the event you or someone you know is suffering from kidney issues related to PPIs, please call us. As your local Charleston personal injury attorney, we will seek justice.