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Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Adverse Effects, May be Overprescribed

By: Anapol Weiss

More than 15 million Americans used proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium in 2013 to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, and other stomach acid-related issues. However, a serious and life-threatening side effect was recently associated with PPIs, which are among the most commonly used drugs in the world.

An analysis of medical records from more than 250,000 patients linked PPI use to a 20 to 50 percent greater risk of developing chronic kidney disease. People who took PPI drugs twice daily had a higher risk than those who took them once a day, according to the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine on January 11.

Studies have indicated that not only are PPIs associated with a number of adverse effects, but they are also overprescribed worldwide. A 2008 study suggested that as many as 70 percent of patients taking PPIs have no appropriate indication.* Overprescribing PPI drugs is a “…a problem in clinical practice and needs further attention,” another study urged.**

Chronic kidney disease involves the gradual loss of kidney function. Patients may need to undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant if the condition progresses to end-stage kidney failure.

Contact our firm if you took a PPI drug over an extended period of time and are suffering from chronic kidney disease. We can answer any legal questions you have. Please note that patients should never stop using a prescribed drug before talking to their physicians.

*Forgacs, I., & Loganayagam, A. (2008). Overprescribing proton pump inhibitors. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 336(7634), 2-3. doi:10.1136/bmj.39406.449456.BE.
** Vakil, N. (2012). Prescribing Proton Pump Inhibitors. Drugs, 72(4), 437-445. doi:10.2165/11599320-000000000-00000.