Healthy Living

Heartburn Medications: Can They Lead To Kidney Disease?

A group of drugs that primarily causes a pronounced and long-lasting reduction of stomach acid production, proton pump inhibitors are one of the most commonly prescribed medications for heartburn because of their availability and their swift ability to relieve pain by controlling our body’s acid secretion.

However, these drugs have been previously linked to a wide array of adverse side effects. And most recently, a new study explored their potential link to the development of kidney disease.

Based on statistics, around 25-75 percent of prescriptions for these proton pump inhibitors aren’t used appropriately. In fact, seeing patients use this type of medication chronically for conditions that only need short-term treatment is quite common. Because of this, patients experiencing unnecessary adverse effects from these drugs are starting to surge.

In a recent study made by researchers from the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Buffalo located in New York, they investigated the potential long-term effects of these hearburn medicines. They particularly looked into the possible link between the chronic use of these drugs to the occurrence of kidney disease.

According to the findings of the study, which was published in Pharmacotherapy, users of heartburn medications have higher incidence rates of kidney disease. They also noted the other causes of the condition, namely: diabetes, hypertension, blood pressure medicines, histamine 2 receptor blockers, age and heart failure.

But after gathering all the data and creating a list based on the factors, the researchers found out that people who used proton pump inhibitors still had higher kidney disease incidence rates. Collected data showed that hearburn medicines were accountable for 20 percent of the disease’s incidence rate.

The results of the study are also consistent with previous reports on the adverse effects of using chronic heartburn medication.

While the findings of this study have already been published, it’s important to further evaluate the data, since proton pump inhibitors are generally considered to be both safe and well-tolerated. Nevertheless, the researchers still concluded that whether or not they truly increase the risk of kidney disease, it’s still imperative for patients to be properly educated on the proper use of proton pump inhibitors. After all, these drugs can cause serious side effects if chronically misused.