Reflux Drugs Associated with Chronic Kidney Disease

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of acid reflux drugs are used by 1 in 14 Americans. These drugs are availab le over-the-counter, and are the third-most taken type of drug in the United States.

A recent study published by a team at John Hopkins reports that people who use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are up to 50% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease compared to those adults who do not use the antacid drugs.

The drugs in question include Prilosec, Nexium, Dexilant, Protonix, Aciphex, and Prevacid. These PPIs are commonly prescribed around the world, and are extremely popular-with sales of approximately $14 billion a year. Figures suggest that up to 70% of these medications are prescribed without a medically valid reason, and these drugs are taken long beyond recommended guidelines, increasing the risk of serious side effects.

In addition to chronic kidney disease, PPIs have been previously associated with osteoporosis, Vitamin B12 deficiency, low magnesium levels, and even severe cardiovascular events, resulting in death. PPIs are also linked to infections, like Clostridium difficile and pneumonia. Reducing the acidity of the stomach may allow bacteria to flourish and then spread to other organs.

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