Heartburn Drugs Linked to Kidney Disease
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According to two recent studies published in JAMA Internal Medicine, common stomach acid drugs called Proton Pump Inhibitors or PPIs have been associated with an increased risk for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Approximately 15 million Americans and growing currently take prescription PPI drugs to manage heartburn, stomach and peptic ulcers, and acid reflux. However, the number of actual users of the drugs appears to be much higher, since many PPIs may also be purchased over-the-counter.
Some of the most common brand name PPIs include:
Researchers believe the increasingly widespread use of these stomach acid PPIs may explain the unusual rise in chronic kidney disease. Crucially, the increased risk of kidney dysfunction from PPIs appears to be linked directly to PPI use itself and not the underlying causes of PPI uses. Moreover, a large number of people appear to be taking acid reduction medication for no clear reason - beyond the point when their heartburn or acid reflux has resolved itself.
PPIs and Their Deadly Effect on Kidney Function
According to the studies mentioned above, the risk of a decline in kidney function was 32 percent higher for people taking PPIs and the risk of new cases of chronic kidney disease was 28 percent higher. Patients taking PPIs were 96 percent more likely to experience end-stage renal disease - kidney failure - which may be fatal.
Chronic Kidney Disease involves the gradual deterioration of kidney function. It commonly displays itself according to the following symptoms:
Loss of appetite
Changes in urine production
Decreased mental function
Shortness of breath
High blood pressure (hypertension)