Heartburn drugs linked with kidney failure

Certain medications used to treat heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers are linked with the development of kidney disease, according to a new analysis by Bassett Medical Centre in the US.

Proton pump inhibitors, which reduce gastric acid production, are one of the most commonly prescribed medications worldwide. Recent studies have raised concerns over a potential increased risk of kidney problems among PPIs users but the results of those studies were inconsistent.

To investigate, Charat Thongprayoon, the study’s lead author, and his colleagues conducted an analysis of published studies that reported the risk of chronic kidney disease or kidney failure among PPI users compared with non-users.

Five studies with 536,902 participants met the eligibility criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. Individuals who used PPIs had a 33 per cent increased relative risk of chronic kidney disease or kidney failure when compared with non-users.

‘This study demonstrates a significant association between the use of PPIs and increased risks of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure,’ Thongprayoon said. ‘Although no causal relationship has been proven, providers should consider whether PPI therapy is indicated for patients. Chronic use of PPIs should be avoided if not really indicated.’

  • rjdriver

    PPIs could be the single most dangerous OTC drug. Kidney problems are only one of many issues associated with long term use.