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These Commonly Used Drugs Have Been Linked to A Very Scary Condition

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from frequent heartburn then you probably turn to PPIs (or proton pump inhibitors) to help battle the discomfort of stomach acid shooting up your throat.

And while they might prove to be effective on occasion there’s a new reason to consider not using them.

It would appear they might be linked to kidney damage.

Here’s what researchers determined.

Following 10,000 adults followed for a “median of 14 years” it was reported people who used PPIs had on average, a risk 20-50% higher for chronic kidney disease over those who didn’t use PPIs, a substantially higher risk.

Though the researchers confirm their findings need to be replicated, they argue their findings certain are indicative of a reason to be concerned.

Part of the reason they’re so concerned is they noticed people who took PPIs twice a day had an even higher risk of chronic kidney disease compared to those who jut took them once a day.

Med Page today writes:

In a replication cohort, PPI use was associated with an increased risk for CKD in all analyses, and twice-daily dosing was associated with a higher risk (adjusted HR 1.46; 95% CI 1.28-1.67) than once-daily dosing (adjusted HR 1.15; 95% CI 1.09-1.21), researcher Morgan Erika Grams, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and colleagues wrote in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, published online Jan. 11.

“The risk was specific to PPI medications because the use of H2 receptor antagonists, which are prescribed for the same indication as PPIs, was not independently associated with CKD,” the researchers wrote.

PPIs happen to be one of the most frequently used medications in the nation.

Part of the problem with their use is many times the people who take them do so without a justifiable reason for doing so.  The researchers estimate anywhere from 25% and 70% of the prescriptions written by prescribers are given to people who don’t actually have the medical indications necessary to require a prescription, this exposing millions to a condition they could avoid if they treated their acid reflux in a different way.

What’s so alarming is what the researchers said about the prescribing practices of PPIs and how they’ve been indiscriminately prescribed for some time.

“When PPIs first came out they were thought of as a miracle drug with no associated side effects,” said Adam Jacob Schoenfeld, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, who wrote an editorial accompanying the latest research.

“Over the years evidence has emerged which shows pretty convincingly that their use is probably associated with a number of side effects, even though these side effects are rare,” he told MedPage Today. “There is no doubt that people with severe GERD benefit, but there is also no doubt that these drugs are overprescribed.”


These findings lend credence to the notion more people should fix their diet in an attempt to regulate heart burn.

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Category: Food, Prescription Drugs, Wellness

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