Proton Pump Inhibitor Side Effects Highlighted in Two New Studies

Published on December 13, 2018 by Sandy Liebhard

Heart burn drugs like Nexium, Prilosec, and PrevAcid, have been linked to serious proton pump inhibitor side effects, including kidney failure and other renal complications.

Now two new studies are highlighting potential risks to children and patients prone to hip fractures.

Proton Pump Inhibitors and Children

The firs study was published in October by JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery. The authors reviewed charts on 293 children age 2 years and younger who had trouble swallowing. All had abnormal results on videofluoroscopic swallow studies at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2015, with follow-up through 2016. Almost half of the children were hospitalized during that period.

Just over half – 51% — of the subjects were treated with a proton pump inhibitor, primarily omeprazole (Prilosec). Others received lansoprazole (PrevAcid) or Protonix.

According to the study authors, the children treated with proton pump inhibitors were two times more likely to be hospitalized compared to those who did not receive the drugs. What’s more, they were two-to-three times more likely to spend the night in the hospital. Children treated with both enteral tubes and proton pump inhibitors had the highest risk of hospitalization.

Furthermore, the authors observed the heightened risk even after they adjusted for co-morbidities.

The reasons for hospitalization included tachypnea, wheezing, respiratory distress and pneumonia and gastrointestinal issues like feeding, vomiting and diarrhea.

Study Confirms Proton Pump Inhibitor Hip Fracture Risks

The second study was published December 12th by Osteoporosis International.

It authors reviewed 24 prior studies on the link between proton pump inhibitors and hip fractures. Taken together, the studies encompassed 2,103,800 participants, including 319,568 people who had hip fractures.

According to the authors, patients taking proton pump inhibitors had a higher risk of hip fractures compared to those who did not use the drugs. Although the analysis suggested an increased risk with both medium and low doses, the risk was greatest among patients taking the highest dose.

“Physicians should, therefore, exercise caution when considering a long-term PPI treatment to their patients who already have an elevated risk of hip fracture,” the study authors wrote. “In addition, patients should be concerned about the inappropriate use of PPIs; if necessary, then, they should continue to receive it with a clear indication.”

Proton Pump Inhibitor May Harm the Kidneys

These are not the first studies to point to harmful proton pump inhibitor side effects.

In recent years, for example, a growing body of research has linked long-term-proton-pump inhibitor use to serious kidney complications, including:

  • Acute interstitial nephritis
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Kidney failure

Because of these studies, thousands of people have filed proton pump inhibitor lawsuits against the manufacturers of Nexium, Prilosec, PrevAcid, Protonix, and Dexilant. Among other things, these plaintiffs allege the defendants knew that proton pump inhibitor side effects were harmful to the kidneys, yet failed to warn the public of these risks.

Furthermore, plaintiffs claim they could have avoided serious kidney injuries if adequate warnings were made available.

Most proton pump inhibitor lawsuits are pending in a centralized litigation underway in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey. The first cases will likely go to trial in 2020

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