New research is adding to the growing body of evidence that suggests people who take proton pump inhibitors like Nexium are more likely to suffer chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, and other renal complications.
The study, which was published earlier this week in Scientific Reports, drew data from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) to uncover “unexpected consequences” associated with proton pump inhibitor consumption.
Its authors identified 43,0000 patients in the database who took proton pump inhibitors and no other medications. They also identified a control group consisting of 8,000 people who took histamine-2 receptor blockers, such as Zantac or Pepcid, and no other medications.
Using a mathematical algorithm, they looked for statistically significant differences in reported kidney-related complications between the proton pump inhibitor group and the control group.
According to their paper, patients who took Nexium or similar drugs reported a kidney-related adverse reaction at a frequency of 5.6 percent, compared to 0.7 percent for patients using only histamine-2 receptor antagonists.
Those taking proton pump inhibitors were also:
The authors acknowledged that only a large, randomized, controlled clinical trial could determine if drugs like Nexium actually caused kidney disease.
However, they’re hopeful these findings will encourage doctors to provide the appropriate warnings, education, and monitoring for patients who require proton pump inhibitors, especially if they are already at elevated risk for kidney disease and electrolyte abnormalities.
Proton pump inhibitors like Nexium, Prilosec, and PrevAcid, are indicated for the short-term treatment of GERD and other digestive issues caused by the excess production of stomach acid. In reality, these drugs are widely overused, as many patients take proton pump inhibitors far longer than recommended.
Unfortunately, this study is just the latest to link Nexium to kidney failure and other renal problems.
More than 5,100 proton pump inhibitor lawsuits are currently pending in New Jersey federal court, all of which were filed on behalf of patients who claim extended use of Nexium, Prilosec, PrevAcid, Protonix, and Dexilant harmed their kidneys.
Hundreds of similar claims have been filed in Delaware, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana state courts.