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What are Proton Pump Inhibitor Medications?
Proton pump inhibitor (PPIs) medications are the most prescribed drugs on the market, many of which are now over-the-counter. There are many brands of PPI medications, but the most common names are Prilosec, Prevacid, and Nexium. They work by inhibiting secretions of stomach acid, which effectively reduces the symptoms related to indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, peptic or stomach ulcers, GERD and Zollinger Ellison Syndrome.
Proton Pump Inhibitors Side Effects & Complications
If taken correctly, PPI medications can be safe and effective. However, the pharmaceutical companies failed to warn the public about long-term use of these medications. The prescribing doses were FDA approved for only four to eight weeks of treatment.
The pharmaceutical companies failed to recognize the multitude of studies showing how long-term use can cause serious, sometimes fatal adverse effects:
- Acute Interstitial Nephritis
- Renal (Kidney) Failure
- Acute or Chronic Kidney Disease
- Acute Kidney Injury
PPI Research Finds Evidence of Adverse Effects in Patients
Prilosec was the first proton pump inhibitor that was FDA approved in 1989. Prevacid was approved in 1995 and Nexium received approval in 2001. Research started surfacing soon after FDA approval showing higher incidence of a form of acute kidney injury called Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN) which related to the use of PPI medications. Acute Interstitial Nephritis can lead to chronic kidney disease and even renal failure.
In 2006, an Australian study concluded that Acute Interstitial Nephritis is likely to become more frequent with the growing use of PPI medications. Furthermore, the failure of manufacturers to recognize these findings might have catastrophic long-term consequences on patients, including chronic kidney disease. Class action suits may be brought to court because there is now evidence to incriminate the commercially available PPIs and their manufacturers.
Multiple studies followed with similar conclusions. In a more recent research study by JAMA Internal Medicine in February 2016, there is evidence supporting the relationship between Proton Pump Inhibitors and chronic kidney disease. Proton pump inhibitors are found to be associated with a “20%–50% higher risk” of chronic kidney disease.
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