Stomach acid drugs, also known as PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) are some of the most commonly used medications in the world today. Over 15 million Americans take stomach acid drugs, either as a prescription or in the over-the-counter form. Common brand names include Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec. These drugs have long been considered a safe way to treat heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion. They work by hindering the release of acid in the stomach, which eases the symptoms, but tends to have several side effects, including some on your kidneys.
Research findings show that individuals can face serious consequences from using Prilosec, Nexium, and other common stomach acid drugs. These include the following kidney-related side effects:
These are the side effects of stomach acid drugs on the kidney
1. Acute interstitial nephritis
Users of stomach acid drugs such as Nexium and Prilosec have a high risk of developing acute interstitial nephritis, which refers to kidney inflammation. The spaces between one’s kidney tubules become swollen, and the condition can cause a number of symptoms, ranging from mild to chronic.
2. Acute kidney injury
Users of stomach acid drugs can also suffer from an acute kidney injury, which leads to a sudden loss of kidney function. Acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease have many common symptoms, but chronic kidney disease sometimes goes unnoticed. At times, it is not diagnosed until it has developed into end-stage renal disease, which refers to permanent damage to the kidneys.
3. Chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease is a serious health condition that affects about one in 10 US citizens. Several factors can cause kidney disease, but the use of pharmaceuticals like heartburn drugs has also be found to be one of those factors. Research has shown that using stomach acid dugs for a prolonged period increases the risk for chronic kidney disease by up to 50%.
4. End-stage kidney failure
Regular users of Prilosec, Nexium or other heartburn drugs also face the risk of developing kidney failure or chronic kidney disease, especially if the drugs are taken over a prolonged period.
No matter the cause of these kidney problems, it is a serious yet manageable condition. When any of the above side effects of stomach acid drugs on the kidney occur, patients are often advised to seek legal redress. Since additional research is ongoing to establish a clear link between kidney disease and PPI usage, more and more lawsuits are likely to be filed by individuals who have suffered the condition after using these medications.