Increased use of certain medications commonly used to treat heartburn and acid reflux may have damaging effects on the kidneys, say researchers, including one of Indian-origin.
The researchers looked at the effects of the drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) on chronic kidney disease (CKD).
In one study, Pradeep Arora from State University of New York and his team found that among 24,149 patients who developed CKD between 2001 and 2008 (out of a total of 71,516 patients), 25.7 percent were treated with PPIs.
PPI use was linked with a 10 percent increased risk of CKD and a 76 percent increased risk of dying prematurely.
“As a large number of patients are being treated with PPIs, health care providers need to be better educated about the potential side effects of these drugs, such as CKD,” Arora pointed out.
In another study, Benjamin Lazarus from Johns Hopkins University and his colleagues followed 10,482 adults with normal kidney function from 1996 to 2011.
They found that PPI users were between 20 percent and 50 percent more likely to develop CKD than non-PPI users, even after accounting for baseline differences between users and non-users.
This discovery was replicated in a second study, in which over 240,000 patients were followed from 1997 to 2014.
“In both studies, people who used a different class of medications to suppress stomach acid, known as H2-blockers, did not have a higher risk of developing kidney disease,” Lazarus pointed out.
“If we know the potential adverse effects of PPI medications we can design better interventions to reduce overuse,” Lazarus noted.