Aciphex is a proton pump inhibitor that decreases the amount of gastric acid in a person’s stomach. Complications potentially associated with this class of medications include magnesium and B12 deficiency, certain fractures, and a serious kidney injury called acute interstitial nephritis. Research also suggests that regular, long-term use of proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk for chronic kidney disease,  renal (kidney) failure, heart attacks and dementia.

What is Aciphex Used For?

Aciphex (rabeprazole) is currently indicated to treat:

  • Heartburn
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Esophageal damage
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • H pylori stomach infections and ulcers

Like other proton pump inhibitors, Aciphex works by “turning off” the pumps in the stomach that produce gastric acid.

Aciphex was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999. The medication is marketed by Esai, Inc.

Aciphex Side Effects

Possible Aciphex side effects include:

  • Low magnesium blood level (may cause fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, persistent muscle spasms, and/or seizures)
  • B12 Deficiency
  • Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (C. diff)
  • Headache
  • Allergic reaction
  • Fractures of the hip, wrist and spine
  • Tetany (muscle spasm)
  • Acute interstitial nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys)

Blood Vessel Aging Tied to Proton Pump Inhibitors

New research  suggests that extended use of  proton pump inhibitors like Aciphex may accelerate aging of blood vessels. According to a study published in Circulation Research in May 2016, this could explain the possible association between the drugs and certain serious complications, including heart attacks and kidney failure. Read More

Aciphex and the Kidneys

In December 2014, the FDA ordered proton pump manufacturers to add information about acute interstitial nephritis to their product labels. This condition is an allergic reaction that results in kidney inflammation. Though it is reversible, nephritis can cause renal failure if it is not recognized and treated immediately.

A number of studies have also suggested that regular, long-term use of Aciphex and other proton pump inhibitors may increase a patient’s risk for chronic kidney disease or  kidney failure. Read More

Aciphex and the Heart

In June 2015, a study published in PLOS One suggested that proton pump inhibitors may raise the risk of heart attack. The study looked at medical records from 2.9 million patients who were using the drugs, and suggested that patients who take proton pump inhibitors had a 16 to 21% increased risk of having a heart attack.

Aciphex and Dementia

In April 2016, research that appeared in JAMA Neurology suggested that seniors who regularly used proton pump inhibitors may be more likely to suffer from dementia. The authors of the study noted that the medications have been tied to B12 deficiency, which can cause cognitive decline. The drugs are also known to impact two proteins that play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. FDA (2014) “Aciphex: Highlights of Precribing Information”
  2. AMA: Internal Medicine (2016) “Proton Pump Inhibitor Use and the Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease”
  3. PLOS One (2015) “Proton Pump Inhibitor Usage and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction in the General Population”
Last Modified: May 19, 2016

Get the latest news and litigation updates about this case by following us on Facebook. Click the "Like" button below.


Follow Us on Google+ on Facebook on LinkedIn on Twitter on YouTube on Pinterest

Skip to content