Study: PPIs May Lead to Kidney Damage

A new study offers further evidence that using proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) to alleviate conditions such as heartburn and acid reflux may seriously damage the kidneys. Tapping into Department of Veterans Affairs national databases, researchers identified 170,000 new users of PPIs and tracked them for 5 years. By the end of the study period, 15% of the PPI users had been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. By comparison, the condition was confirmed in only 11% of 20,000 first-time users of histamine H2 receptor blockers—another class of drugs used to suppress gastric acid. After controlling for age, comorbidities, and other factors, the PPI users had a 28% greater risk for kidney disease. While only a tiny fraction of study participants developed end-stage kidney failure, the risk was 96% higher for the PPI cohort. Despite the low overall risk, study author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, of VA Saint Louis Health Care System says the finding suggests that PPI use should be limited. “[Patients should] use PPIs only when it is medically necessary, and should limit duration of exposure to the minimum necessary to treat the underlying medical condition,” said Al- Aly, who reported the results in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. (Source: APhA Pharmacy Today, 4/15/16)