Acid Reflux Drugs May Raise Kidney Disease Risk
Drugs commonly used to treat heartburn and acid reflux could raise the risk of chronic kidney disease, according to two new studies.
The drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), are available both through prescriptions and over the counter, and are on the list of top 10 most prescribed medications in the U.S.
One study from Johns Hopkins University followed more than 10,000 people from 1996 to 2011 and found that PPI users were 20 to 50 percent more likely to develop chronic kidney disease than non-users. These results were replicated in a second Johns Hopkins study involving 240,000 people from 1997 to 2014.
A separate study at the State University of New York-Buffalo found that from 2001 to 2008, 24,149 people out of 71,149 developed chronic kidney disease out of 71,516. Almost 26 percent of those with kidney disease had been treated with PPIs. The researchers also noted, however, that those patients who took PPIs were less likely to have vascular disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The researchers said they hope the findings about PPIs and kidney disease will encourage health providers to become better educated about the potential side effects of the drugs, which are sometimes prescribed outside their approved uses.