Data from a recent analysis of studies examining the link between kidney disease and patients using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) shows a 33 percent increase in the risk of developing chronic kidney disease or kidney failure compared to non-PPI users, Eurekalert reports. The outlet cites the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), which presented the findings at its latest ASN Kidney Week conference last month.

PPIs are heartburn drugs that have been on the market since the 1980s, as Beasley Allen has previously explained. They are used to treat acid-related disorders such as stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and acid reflux. Studies dating to the 1990s link PPI use to kidney disease and failure. One study from 1992 linked the drugs to Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN), inflammation in the spaces between the kidney tubules. Additional studies later linked the drugs to an increased risk of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI or Acute Renal Failure) and Chronic Kidney Disease.

Charat Thongprayoon, MD from the Bassett Medical Center led a team of researchers that analyzed five published studies reporting the risk of chronic kidney disease or kidney failure among PPI users compared with non-users. There were a combined 536,902 eligible participants included in the meta-analysis.

Dr. Thongprayoon explained that the “study demonstrates a significant association between the use of PPIs and increased risks of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.” He also warned doctors to use caution when prescribing PPIs, especially for chronic use.

The class of drugs is among the most commonly prescribed worldwide and includes Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium.

There are 315 lawsuits now pending in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, according to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Plaintiffs are suing PPI manufacturers including Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.; AstraZeneca; Pfizer Inc. (and its subsidiaries Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Wyeth, LLC, and Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories); Procter & Gamble Company; and Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. (and its subsidiaries Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc. and Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, Inc). The plaintiffs argue that the drugmakers failed to warn consumers about the drugs’ potential to cause kidney damage.

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Lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section are currently investigating cases for people who used PPIs and developed AIN, AKI or Acute Renal Failure, or Chronic Kidney Disease.

Eurekalert/ American Society of Nephrology
Beasley Allen
U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation

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