Heartburn Drugs Linked to Chronic 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:

  • Nexium

  • Prilosec

  • Prevacid

  • Protonix

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

Attorney Michael Schafle. Michael focuses his practice in pharmaceutical liability, class actions, and products liability. He has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer® every year since 2010. He was recently selected by the National Trial Lawyer’s Association as a Top 40 under 40 member for the State of New Jersey and has also been selected as an Outstanding Pennsylvania Attorney for 2013 by the American Registry.  Since 2015, Michael has been selected as a Nationally Ranked Top 10 Under 40 Attorney by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys (NAOPIA).

Attorney Michael Schafle.

Michael focuses his practice in pharmaceutical liability, class actions, and products liability. He has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer® every year since 2010. He was recently selected by the National Trial Lawyer’s Association as a Top 40 under 40 member for the State of New Jersey and has also been selected as an Outstanding Pennsylvania Attorney for 2013 by the American Registry.  Since 2015, Michael has been selected as a Nationally Ranked Top 10 Under 40 Attorney by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys (NAOPIA).

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:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Changes in urine production
  • Decreased mental function
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

PPI, Unsafe Drug and Medical Device Attorneys

If you or anyone you know has suffered health problems, especially kidney disease, as a result of heartburn or acid reflux medication, please contact our attorneys immediately to discuss your legal rights toll-free at 1-866-462-3330 or via our online contact form.