Users of Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) May Develop Chronic Kidney Disease Without Showing Symptoms

A new study shows that users of proton-pump inhibitor medications (PPIs), while at a higher risk for chronic kidney damage, may not show immediate symptoms – letting their silent, potentially devastating kidney disease go unnoticed and untreated. The results of the study were published online in Kidney International in February 2017.

An earlier study had shown that the use of proton-pump inhibitor medications was associated with an increase in the risk of chronic kidney disease and in severe cases renal failure. But it was not clear whether or not PPI use would necessarily lead to an acute kidney injury (AKI) – in other words, whether a patient would develop symptoms of kidney illness following their PPI medication and seek immediate treatment.

The study’s authors warn that relying on the patient’s developing an AKI as a warning sign against further chronic disease is not an adequate strategy. “Exercising vigilance in PPI use – even in the absence of AKI – and careful attention to kidney function in PPU users may be a reasonable approach,” they write.

PPIs include medications such as Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid, and are used to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach, treating indigestion, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and peptic ulcer disease (PUD). They are available in both over-the-counter and prescription forms. They are some of the most-common used medications in the U.S. today and the total annual PPI market has been estimated at about $8 billion and the three most popular medications have each made billions for their manufacturers.

If you or a loved one has suffered renal failure or were diagnosed with chronic kidney disease after taking a proton pump inhibitor such as name-brand Prilosec, Nexium or Prevacid, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

In addition to advising patients of the risks of kidney failure and kidney disease, the FDA has previously issued warnings that PPIs put patients at increased risk of diarrhea, heart attacks, and bone fractures.

Manufacturers AstraZeneca (Prilosec and Nexium) and Takeda (Prevacid), have been accused of manufacturing defective or dangerous medications, failure to adequately warn about risks of medications, and may be guilty of improper marketing practices. In prior medical injury lawsuits, settlements have been given to compensation victims for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and in cases of death, wrongful death compensation has been awarded to family members

Though a lawsuit filed for effects suffered due to a dangerous drug has no guarantee of settlement, patients who have experienced or been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, renal failure or other serious conditions may be eligible for compensation for those injuries and should seek expert, legal advice.