Proton Pump Inhibitors Potentially Cause Kidney Damage

Kidney damage is seen in long term users of PPIs.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can be obtained through a prescription, as well as over-the-counter. This type of drug reduces gastric acid production and is used to treat conditions such as heartburn or acid reflux.

According to the study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, long term use of PPIs can cause kidney damage.

The study was conducted with 173,321 patients who never used PPIs before and 20,270 patients who never used histamine H2 receptor blockers, another type of drug prescribed to reduce gastric acid production.

After 5 years, researchers found that patients taking PPIs were more likely to experience a decline in kidney function than those taking histamine H2 receptor blockers.

Patients taking PPIs also had a 28% increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease and a 96% increased risk of developing kidney failure, according to the study.

Researchers found that patients who took PPIs for a longer period of time were more likely to develop kidney problems. They also said that long term use of PPIs should be avoided due to potential severe conditions.

"The results emphasize the importance of limiting PPI use only when it is medically necessary, and also limiting the duration of use to the shortest duration possible," said Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, FASN, author of the study. “A lot of patients start taking PPIs for a medical condition, and they continue much longer than necessary."