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What Heartburn Medicine Causes Kidney Disease

How Does Prilosec Work

Heartburn Medicine Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease Risk, Study Shows | NBC Nightly News

Prilosec works in the same way as other proton pump inhibitors, by blocking the production of stomach acid. It does this by blocking the enzyme H+/K+ATPase on the stomachs parietal cells. This enzyme is involved in the final stage of the production of stomach acid. By inhibiting that final step, Prilosec and other PPIs block the production of stomach acid.

What Are Prilosecs Links To Kidney Disease

A 2016 JAMA study found links between proton pump inhibitors and an increase in the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid are all proton pump inhibitors and would therefore carry the same risk of chronic kidney disease. The study indicated that taking PPIs long-term indicated between a 20% and 50% increase in the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. The study also indicated an increased risk of hypomagnesemia and other medical conditions.

The study also found that up to 70% of patients taking Prilosec or another proton pump inhibitor are doing so unnecessarily and that there wasnt a medical reason for them to be taking the drug, especially long-term.

Heartburn Remedies And Kidney Damage

Libby Mitchell

Medications come with risks, and for years doctors have known people taking proton pump inhibitors for heartburn and acid reflux may be at risk for kidney damage. It was previously thought that the decline in kidney function is acute and transient. However, a new study raises concerns that this may not be the case. In some patients, kidney problems can develop slowly over time and result in chronic kidney disease.

In most cases kidney damage is completely asymptomatic, says Laith Al-Rabadi, MBBS, a nephrologist with University of Utah Health Care. Patients may only show symptoms at very advanced stages. These symptoms can be vague and include fatigue, low appetite, and nausea, or more florid like shortness of breath lower extremity swelling and confusion.

The kidney has small filters glomeruli that filter the toxins from the blood. PPIs cause inflammation of the tissue between those filters with subsequent damage and scarring over time. The impacts of the damage depend on how early its caught. The acute inflammatory component can be usually revered with stopping the medication, says Al-Rabadi. Unfortunately, we can’t replace the scarred part and chronic damage of the kidney. We preserve whatever left of the remaining kidney function with the goal of avoiding the need for dialysis.

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Potential Risk Could Outweigh Benefit Of Taking The Medication Study’s Author Says

Popular heartburn medications taken by millions of Canadians could lead to long-term kidney damage without any warning, a new study suggests.

The drugs, called proton pump inhibitors , reduce the symptoms of heartburn by lowering the amount of acid in the stomach. They include the brand names Losec, Nexium, and Prevacid.

Doctors previously monitored patients for acute kidney problems, such as decreased urination, swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet, and nausea. Such symptoms were thought to be a warning of more permanent kidney damage, and would often result in doctors taking patients off the drugs.

But the latest research, in the journal Kidney International, shows this isn’t always the case.

Natural Solutions For Heart Burn

Heartburn Drugs may Cause Kidney Failure Silently and ...

Apple cider vinegar is a great prevention remedy for acid reflux. You can take 2 tablespoon in a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal to help normalize stomach acid and prevent indigestion. While many advocate drinking it at time of heartburn, I have found this makes the symptom worse. However, when used before a meal it seems to prevent the issue.

Related: 5 ailments to take apple cider vinegar for

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is perhaps the best remedy when you are experiencing GERD or acid reflux. This works by balancing the stomach pH when you drink ½ teaspoon in a cup of water. The taste is not terrific but it works great.

For more tips on creating a lifestyle that prevents heartburn, and more remedies for heartburn relief, check out another article I wrote here.

Editors note: Did you know that when you take your body from acid to alkaline you can boost your energy, lose weight, soothe digestion, avoid illness and achieve wellness? Click here to discover The Alkaline Secret to Ultimate Vitality and revive your life today!


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Over The Counter Medications And Chronic Kidney Disease

Pain Medications

Acetaminophen is safe to use. If you have liver problems you should check with your pharmacist or physician first. Do not take more than 12 regular strength tablets or 8 extra strength tablets per day. Acetaminophen will relieve pain and fever but NOT inflammation.

Medications such as ibuprofen , naproxen , or acetylsalicylic acid are unsafe for your kidneys. They can also increase blood pressure, increase risk of heart attack and stroke and cause stomach ulcers and bleeding. These agents should be avoided with the exception of low-dose daily Aspirin 81 mg, which is safe for regular use if prescribed by your doctor.


Most over the counter medications for heartburn are safe to use occasionally. If your heartburn occurs daily, speak with your family physician. Magnesium-containing products should be avoided as they accumulate in patients with kidney disease.

For occasional use


Constipation is a common problem for people with chronic kidney disease as both iron tablets and calcium tablets can cause this side effect. You may be on other medications, such as pain medications, which can cause constipation.

If you are taking a medicine on a daily basis which can cause constipation you should also take a medication to prevent constipation. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which medication is best for you. You do not need to take this with lots of additional fluid which is often recommended.


Cough & Cold Medicine


Herbal Products

What Are Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton pump inhibitors also known as PPIs are a class of prescription and over-the-counter medications designed to treat heartburn, acid reflux, ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease , and other stomach conditions caused by too much stomach acid.

The stomach contains a mechanism known as the proton pump, which is responsible for producing stomach acid. PPIs work by blocking the activity of an enzyme in the proton pump, which reduces the amount of acid produced by the stomach.

Originally, PPI medications such as Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, and Nexium were sold only as prescription drugs. Today, these medications are available in over-the-counter formulations, as well as generic prescription versions.

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While Study Can’t Prove Cause

MONDAY, Jan. 11, 2016 — A type of heartburn medication called proton pump inhibitors may be linked to long-term kidney damage, a new study suggests.

Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid belong to this class of drugs, which treat heartburn and acid reflux by lowering the amount of acid produced by the stomach.

People who use proton pump inhibitors have a 20 percent to 50 percent higher risk of chronic kidney disease compared with nonusers, said lead author Dr. Morgan Grams, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

The study was published Jan. 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The study doesn’t establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the drugs and chronic kidney disease. However, Grams said, “We found there was an increasing risk associated with an increasing dose. That suggests that perhaps this observed effect is real.”

Proton pump inhibitors were used by more than 15 million Americans in 2013, according to background notes.

But as many as 70 percent of these prescriptions have been handed out inappropriately, and 25 percent of long-term users could stop taking the medication without suffering increased heartburn or acid reflux, the study authors said.

Use of the prescription heartburn drugs already has been linked to short-term kidney problems such as acute kidney injury and an inflammatory kidney disease called acute interstitial nephritis, Grams said.

More information

JAMA Internal Medicine

Patients Taking Ppis More Likely To Experience Kidney Decline

Heartburn Medications and Kidney Failure

For their study, the team examined 5 years of VA records for 173,000 new users of PPIs and 20,000 new users of H2 receptor blockers another type of drug that also suppresses stomach acid and looked for incidence of kidney problems.

Their analysis finds that patients taking PPIs were more likely to experience declining kidney function than patients taking H2 receptor blockers.

PPI use was also linked to a 28% increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease and a 96% higher risk of developing complete kidney failure, compared with H2 blocker use.

The researchers note that the longer the duration of PPI, the higher the risk of kidney problems. They conclude long-term use of PPIs may cause harm to the kidneys and should be avoided.

Senior author Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a nephrologist with the VA Saint Louis Health Care System in Missouri, says their findings emphasize the importance of only using PPIs when strictly medically necessary, and also limiting the duration of use to the shortest possible. He notes:

A lot of patients start taking PPIs for a medical condition, and they continue much longer than necessary.

The study adds to a body of research that is raising questions about long-term use of PPIs.

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Ppis Could Have Lasting Consequences

Although the drugs were thought to be safe when first introduced to the market in the 1980s, many healthcare professionals have expressed concerns about the long-term effects of PPIs. In their findings, the Johns Hopkins researchers recommended patients use PPIs as infrequently as possible and only when necessary for a medical condition. Such a concern exists because these drugs may lead to:

  • Kidney damage

Are Nexium And Prilosec The Same Drug

Esomeprazole is a mirror drug, meaning that is extremely similar to omeprazole , just like the left hand is the mirror image of the right hand. Technically they could be considered the same drug. Shortly after Prilosecs patent ended, however, AstraZeneca obtained the FDAs approval to market Nexium as a new drug just before the market was flooded with generic medications.

Many speculated that the pharmaceutical giant manufactured the new medication in order to maintain their revenues, since in the early 2000s Prilosec was the top-selling prescription medicine in the U.S., with yearly sales of $4.1 billion.

Esomeprazole and other PPIs are among the most overprescribed medications in the entire world, and theyre also grossly overpriced, especially in the United States. According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, generic omeprazole is sold at about $1 per single dose, while esomeprazoles price is usually 7 to 15 times higher.

Dr. Marcia Angell, the former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, accused AstraZeneca of distorting the results of the studies that allegedly demonstrated esomeprazoles superiority over omeprazole to artificially overcharge the American consumers.

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Nexium & Prilosec Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

As of this time, there have been no large mass tort settlements involving Nexium or Prilosec and the potential link to kidney injuries. Generally, however, large groups of settlements do not occur until such time as a few lawsuits are tried before a jury, and the manufacturer is able to more thoroughly understand its financial risk.

We are one of the few law firms that have been appointed to the Plaintiff’s Executive Committee by the judge overseeing all of the federal lawsuits involving Nexium and Prilosec, and its link to kidney and renal injuries. This means that we are directly involved in the national investigation and discovery that will hopefully result in a positive outcome for the individuals injured by this drug.

In 2016, AstraZeneca paid the United States Department of Justice a $7.9 million penalty for engaging in a kickback scheme involving the sale of Nexium and Prilosec.

In 2015, AstraZeneca settled a national class action involving deceptive marketing of Nexium for the sum of $20 million.

In 2003, AstraZeneca faced allegations by the European Commission that the company provided false and misleading information in order to protect its patent on Losec . After a two-year investigation, the Commission ordered AstraZeneca to pay a fine of 53 million .

Acid Reflux Medicines May Cause Kidney Damage

PPIs Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease
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Long-term use of certain medications commonly used to treat heartburn, acid reflux, and ulcers can have damaging effects on the kidneys. The findings come from a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology . In 2013, an estimated 15 million Americans were prescribed proton pump , which reduce gastric acid production. This number is likely an underestimate because the medications are also available over-the-counter and can be purchased without prescription.

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Nexium & Prilosec Lawsuit News

Heartburn medications causing serious health problems:

“With research showing that anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of PPI users dont need the drugs at all, Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman points a finger at gastroesophageal reflux disease as being a driving force behind PPI overuse. . . . Eventually, nephrologist and researcher Dr. Morgan Grams of Johns Hopkins, says she started to notice that most of her patients who had come in with chronic kidney disease had been using PPIs.” Reported in ABC10 – Nexium Prilosec Health Issues

Popular heartburn medication may increase ischemic stroke risk:

A popular group of antacids known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, used to reduce stomach acid and treat heartburn may increase the risk of ischemic stroke, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016. Reported in EurekAlert – Nexium Prilosec & Stroke

Nexium and Prilosec Linked to Kidney Damage, Heart Damage and Bone Fractures:

Long-term use of a common type of medication used to treat heartburn, acid reflux, and ulcers may lead to an increased risk of kidney disease and kidney failure, new research shows. The study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, adds to prior research that suggests proton-pump inhibitors , a group of drugs which reduces gastric acid production, can lead to serious kidney damage. Reported in CBS News – Nexium Prilosec Bone Fractures

What The Study Found

Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid are proton pump inhibitors medicines that suppress acid production in the stomach. Although Johns Hopkins researchers believe more study is needed to reach a definitive conclusion about the harmful relationship between kidney issues and PPIs, their study found that:

  • The drugs increased the risk of kidney damage by 2050 percent.
  • The damage is rooted in decreased magnesium levels in the body, which can disable the kidneys from filtering blood effectively.
  • Those who took a PPI twice a day had nearly twice the risk of kidney damage than those who took one dose each day.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Ppis

Although they are among the most widely prescribed medications in the U.S., researchers have linked PPIs to an increased risk of serious and potentially deadly side effects.

One of the most dangerous side effects linked to the use of PPI medications is kidney disease. Studies have shown that long-term PPI users are more likely than patients taking H2 blockers to develop problems with their kidneys, including kidney damage and kidney failure.

Other side effects that have been linked to the use of PPIs include an increased risk of fractures, increased pneumonia risk, an increased risk of Clostridium difficile infections, iron and Vitamin B12 deficiency, and interactions with some other prescription drugs.

Other Conditions Linked To Ppi Use

Davis & Crump | Nexium & Prilosec Linked To Kidney Disease | TV Spot

Unfortunately, CKD isnt the only side effect associated with PPI use. Evidence is piling up for other conditions, as well, including

  • Acute interstitial nephritis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the kidneys.
  • C. difficile infection, a life-threatening bacterial disease.
  • Dementia, especially among elderly PPI users.
  • Heart palpitations and heart attacks.
  • Osteoporosis, leading to increased risk of broken bones.
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis, a dangerous and painful blistering over large areas of the skin.

Lawsuits are currently being filed against the manufacturers of PPI drugs, alleging that they knew the risks to the public, yet ignored them and sold the drugs anyways, leaving patients to suffer.

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Who Manufactures Prilosec

Prilosec is manufactured by British-Swedish company AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca formed from the merger of British company Zeneca Group and Swedish company Astra AB in 1999. The merger resulted in the creation of AstraZeneca, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The company is involved in both neuroscience research and pharmaceutical development.

The company manufactures both Prilosec and Nexium, as well as a number of other medications for conditions such as:

  • Respiratory ailments
  • Infections

What Are Fractures

Medically, fractures are any severity of bone fracture, ranging from minor fractures to severe breakages of bone. While most are caused by an accident or physical trauma, fractures can also be caused when bones are weaker. Those with osteoporosis are more susceptible to fractures, for example, because the bones are not as strong. Certain medications can lead to the weakening of bones, resulting in a higher risk of bone fractures.

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What You Can Do

If youve been taking one of the PPI drugs listed above and have concerns, you should speak to your physician about the risks, and ask if there are alternative treatments for your condition. Its important to listen to your doctors advice about your specific health condition, but you can also always seek a second medical opinion, too. You should not start or stop a prescription without discussing it with a doctor first.

If you or a loved one are suffering from CKD or any other condition caused by PPI drugs, you may have legal options. Protect yourself by contacting an attorney who is experienced with dangerous-drug litigation. The attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP will fight the drug companies, insurers, and hospitals to help you get the compensation that youre owed. Call us to discuss the details of your case with a free consultation at 210-888-8888.


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