Yet another study has suggested that the long-term use of Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors could potentially harm the kidneys. The research, which appeared this month in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, suggested that patients who use these drugs may be more likely to develop kidney failure or chronic kidney disease compared to those who took another class of heartburn medications.
In addition to Nexium, the proton pump inhibitor class includes medications like Prilosec, Protonix, Prevacid, Dexilant, and AcipHex. For this study, researchers at the Veterans Affairs Clinical Epidemiology Center compared renal outcomes among 173,321 people who used a proton pump inhibitor to a group of 20,270 people who had been treated with H2 blockers, such as Zantac or Pepcid. All of the patients were followed for five years.
The analysis revealed that 15% of the patients in the proton pump inhibitor group had developed chronic kidney disease. Overall, the results suggested that patients taking the medications are 96% more likely to develop kidney failure and 28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease. The findings also indicated that the overall risk increases with higher doses and longer duration of use.
This is not the first time that Nexium and similar heartburn medications have been linked to kidney problems. In January, research published in JAMA internal Medicine reported that long-term, twice-daily use of proton pump inhibitors appeared to increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by 46%, while once per day use was tied to a 15% increased risk. The same study also found patients who used the drugs had a 39% higher risk of chronic kidney disease compared to those using H2 blockers.
In December 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) modified the labels for all prescription proton pump inhibitors with warnings about a number of potential side effects, including acute interstitial nephritis. This condition involves a dangerous inflammation of the kidneys that can lead to kidney failure if not treated in a timely manner.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is investigating Nexium lawsuits on behalf of patients who developed kidney issues after using proton pump inhibitors, including: