Study Concludes That Acid Reflux Drugs May Increase Risk of Kidney Failure

Canadian researchers have concluded that a class of acid reflux drugs may increase the risk of kidney failure.  The researchers further point out that this risk is not fully or properly appreciated by the public.  If that’s the case, then it’s possible that a large number of people could be facing this daunting risk without understanding the situation.  The study was published a few months after the FDA announced that it was requiring the labels for these medications to warn users of the risk of serious potential kidney-related side effects.

The study was published in the most recent edition of a medical journal known as CMAJ Open.  A link to the abstract of that study can be found here.  Researchers from Toronto took a detailed look at the records of nearly 300,000 patients who had used a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs.  These drugs are used to treat the symptoms of acid reflux.  PPIs work by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach and they are used to treat the following medical problems:

  • Heartburn
  • Stomach ulcers
  • GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease)
  • Small intestine ulcers
  • Esophagus inflammation

Examples of well-known brand names of PPIs include:

  • Prilosec
  • Prevacid
  • Nexium
  • Dexilant
  • Vimovo
  • Protonix
  • AcipHex
  • Zegerid

These medications are often available on an over-the-counter basis and they have generated billions of dollars in revenue for their respective manufacturers.

About the Study

The researchers looked at those 290,592 users of PPIs who were located in Ontario and who were at least 66 years of age at the time they used these medications.  The date range for the study was from 2002 into 2011.  The researchers then compared the records of these subjects with people who had not used PPIs during this time period.  The data that they uncovered was startling to many experts in the medical field.

Specifically, the researchers found that people who had used PPIs were more than 2.5 times as likely to report to the hospital with acute kidney injuries within 120 days as those who did not use these medications.  People who used PPIs were basically three times as likely to report to the hospital within 120 days with acute interstitial nephritis as those who did not ingest these drugs.  Acute interstitial nephritis is a condition involving internal inflammation that can lead to kidney failure.

Acid Reflux Drugs and Your Legal Rights

The study is the latest warning that using these medications, particularly for people who are at least 66 years old, can involve significant risk.  If you are using one of these drugs, you should seek the advice of your doctor regarding what, if any, risks you may potentially face.  If you or someone you love has used one of these medications and you’ve suffered as a result, you need to take action and stand up for your legal rights.  You can do so by contacting the acid reflux side effects lawyers at Parilman & Associates today to schedule a free initial consultation.  You can either email the firm or call 800-800-DRUG.