A common heartburn drug has been linked to kidney disease. The findings highlight potential risks of a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are commonly prescribed for conditions like chronic heartburn.
Previous research has linked PPIs with nutrient deficiencies and bone-density loss. The FDA suggests that people be cautious of taking PPIs for longer than a year, as the extended PPI use is associated with bone loss. Other studies found that PPIs increase the risk of heart attack.
The new findings – like the previous ones – have only demonstrated the association between PPIs and health conditions, and do not necessarily suggest a cause-and-effect relationship.
The researchers found that patients taking PPIs had a higher risk of developing kidney disease, compared to those not taking the medication. Of course, there are many other factors to consider. PPIs are usually taken by older adults or those in poorer state of health. Some people may not be taking these medications properly. The researchers stress that patients should only take PPIs when there is a medical necessity and only for short periods of time.
Many people take PPIs when they don’t really need them. Because PPIs are sold over the counter, patients often ignore the warning labels as they may believe these are safer than they are in reality.
If you think you have a reflux problem, speak with your doctor and only take medication under their watchful eye in order to reduce the risk of health complications.