Proton pump inhibitors linked to increased risk of kidney failure, new study suggests

by Eric Pearson

A new study has warned that patients who use a type of antacid medication known as proton pump inhibitors—or PPIs—may face an increased risk of kidney failure or chronic kidney disease. The new study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, confirmed the findings of previous research that had also linked proton pump inhibitors to an increased risk of kidney problems or other side effects.

Proton pump inhibitors are prescribed to treat gastrointestinal disorders, including heartburn, ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and acid reflux. Roughly 15 million patients in the U.S. have prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors, including medications such as Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix, and Aciphex. Millions more patients use over-the-counter varieties of these drugs that are sold in pharmacies and supermarkets.

The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology study compared the side effects risk of proton pump inhibitors to those of histamine H2 receptor blockers, an alternative class of antacid drugs that includes Tagamet, Zantac, and Pepcid. According to the new study, patients who use proton pump inhibitors are nearly twice as likely to develop kidney failure compared to patients who used histamine H2 receptor blockers. The study also found that patients who used proton pump inhibitors were 28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease compared to patients who used the alternative drugs.

This research from the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology is the latest in a series of studies that have linked proton pump inhibitors to an increased risk of side effects. Several studies have linked Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium, and other PPIs to an increased risk of acute interstitial nephritis, which may cause kidney failure. A January 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) also found that PPI users were more likely to suffer chronic kidney disease, or CKD. Studies have also linked proton pump inhibitors to an increased risk of pneumonia, C. difficile infections, and osteoporosis.

Health experts say that the growing evidence of a link between proton pump inhibitors and kidney problems may lead doctors to reconsider the frequency with which these drugs are prescribed to patients. The authors of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology study stated that PPIs were overprescribed, a statement which has been echoed in previous research into the side effects of these medications. The new study’s authors say that patients who are prescribed PPIs should only use these drugs for a short time in order to limit their risk of kidney failure and other adverse events.

Despite the efforts of the FDA and other federal regulators, thousands of patients are injured every year as a result of side effects from prescription medications. Far too often, the pharmaceutical industry puts profits ahead of patients, disregarding safety concerns because of the enormous sales that “blockbuster” drugs and medical devices can generate.

Pharmaceutical Liability Lawsuits Filed by HO&P

If you or a loved one has been hurt by complications from prescription drugs or other medical products, you and your family are entitled to have an well-trained and experienced attorney fighting on your behalf. The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have the experience, expertise, and resources to take on any pharmaceutical liability case. Our law firm has pursued claims involving injuries linked to a variety of pharmaceutical products.

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we believe that when the actions of pharmaceutical companies and medical devices manufacturers jeopardize the safety or health of patients, they should be held accountable for their actions in a court of law. Our law firm has tried hundreds of cases to verdict and has achieved settlements in hundreds more. In just the last few years, our lawyers have collected more than $200 million on behalf of our clients in cases relating to defective pharmaceutical products.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of prescription drug complications, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about filing a case. For a free legal consultation from an attorney and to find out whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit, please call us toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few simple questions about your case to get started.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.