Proton Pump Inhibitors, or PPIs, reduce stomach acid by blocking the enzyme that produces the acids.
PPIs are used to help prevent heartburn, stomach ulcers, and other issue caused by excess stomach acid. Some PPIs are prescription only but some are available over the counter. A 2016 study has shown that long-term use of PPIs has been linked to chronic kidney disease, as well as other side effects, some of which could be deadly.
Potential PPI Side Effects
PPIs have a long list of side effects ranging from mild discomforts like headaches or nausea to severe, life-threatening side effects like nephritis and kidney failure. Long-term use has even been linked to a higher risk of heart attacks and certain types of cancers.
But the most common, life-threatening side effect of long-term PPI use is chronic kidney disease or CKD. In fact, long-term PPI users are 28% more likely to suffer from CKD and 95% more likely to experience kidney failure when compared to those who used histamine H2 receptor blockers to manage their acid-related issue instead. CKD happens silently and gradually which means you may not notice it right away. CKD can progress far enough to requiring dialysis or even a kidney transplant. If CKD is not treated, it could lead to total kidney failure.
Legal Action Has Been Taken Against PPI Manufacturers
There are currently thousands of lawsuits against the makers of these PPIs. These lawsuits claim manufacturing companies did not properly warn users or medical professionals about the potential life-threatening kidney risks associated with long-term PPI use. Because of this, physicians did not know to warn patients of the potential side effects and users did not know the risks when getting the medications over the counter.
What Should You Do if You Used PPIs Longterm?
If you or a loved one have been taking PPIs long term, call your doctor about alternatives to PPIs and potential health risk. If you believe your health has been affected by the long-term use of these drugs or had a loved one experience kidney failure while on these drugs, give us a call to schedule a free initial consultation.