Millions of People Take Heartburn and Gastric Reflux Medications
Over 15 million people in the United States use Prilosec and Prilosec OTC (omeprazole), Prevacid and Prevacid 24-hour (lansoprazole), Aciphex (rabeprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole), and Nexium (esomeprazole). These medications, introduced over 25 years ago, are called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). They were designed to reduce the overproduction of stomach acid propounded to cause heartburn and acid reflux.
Medical Journals Publish Study – Heartburn/Acid Reflux Medications
Increase Risks of Kidney Damage, Disease, and Possibly Death
A recent study published in the Journal of Medical Association (JAMA) and the Journal of American Society of Nephrologists (JASN) authored by Dr. Morgan Grams, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, incorporated information obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ national database, of 10,482 patients studied from 1996 and 1999. Johns Hopkins added 20,270 new PPI users and compared them to 173,321 new H2-blocker participants to determine renal outcome comparisons.
None of the participants had kidney damage at the onset of the study.
The data revealed that PPIs create an increased risk of acute interstitial nephritis, a condition of inflammation of the spaces between the renal tubes. Persistent inflammation leads to kidney infections, toxicity, and autoimmune disorders which can affect other major organs. Prolonged use increases the risks of chronic kidney damage, kidney disease, and kidney failure resulting in dialysis or death. The study, which lasted over five years, determined that 15% of people who used PPIs were diagnosed with chronic kidney disease opposed to 11% of people using H2-blockers. Other factors such as age, health and other diseases, increased the risk results to 28% increase overall. The PPI group was 96% more likely to develop end stage renal disease (ESRD) than the H2-blocker group. ESRD is the last stage of kidney disease, when your kidneys no longer function at the level required by your body.
Heartburn/Acid Reflux Medications May Cause Serious Side Effects
Dr. John Clarke, a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, stated that for many years, it was believed that PPIs were very safe, but new emerging data suggests that may not be the case.
Dr. Andrew Frank Muller, of the British Society of Gastroenterology, stated that colleagues at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital believed that PPIs are the most probable cause of drug-related interstitial nephritis. Data showed that renal function improves when the drugs are stopped.
Recently medical professionals have suspected that PPIs cause other serious and damaging side effects, including blockage of absorption and production of necessary vitamins, such as iron, magnesium, and B12. There is also ongoing research in PPIs effects on bone density. The FDA issued a warning of increased cardiac events when PPIs are combined with Clopidogrel (a medication to prevent heart attacks and strokes.) A recent German study suggested that there could be a 44% risk of dementia in people taking PPIs compared to those not taking PPIs.
Excessive Use of Heartburn/Acid Reflux Medications Is Unnecessary
There is also a growing concern that PPIs are excessively and unnecessarily over-utilized. Heartburn (hypochlorhydria) is caused by the stomach producing too little stomach acid (HCL). A lack of HCL causes food to rot which produces lactic acid, not stomach acid, and can be cured quickly with HCL supplements. A 2010 study at the VA clinic in Ann Arbor Michigan determined that many patients should not have taken PPIs. Additionally, symptoms often increase when people try to stop taking the medication.
If you or a loved one has suffered chronic kidney disease or renal failure due to taking PPIs such as Prilosec, Prilosec OTC, Prevacid, Prevacid 24-hour, Aciphex, Protonix, Nexium, or any other proton pump inhibitor, please give us a call at (800) 748-7115.
Chart showing all of the Proton Pump Inhibitors.