Regular use of drugs that are commonly used to treat heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers may increase the risk of kidney disease, a study has claimed. According to the study, regular use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like pantoprazole or rabeprazole — the most commonly prescribed medications worldwide to reduce gastric acid production — have a potential to increase the risk of chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.
To investigate the association, researchers led by Charat Thongprayoon from Bassett Medical Centre in New York, US conducted a meta-analysis of five studies with 536,902 participants. The results showed that individuals who used PPIs had a 33 per cent increased relative risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) or kidney failure when compared with non-users.
“This study demonstrates a significant association between the use of PPIs and increased risks of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure,” Thongprayoon said. “Although no causal relationship has been proven, providers should consider whether PPI therapy is indicated for patients. Chronic use of PPIs should be avoided if not really indicated,” Thongprayoon added.
The findings of the analysis will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2017 in New Orleans. In a recent study, published in the journal Gut, PPIs users were found to be twice at risk of developing stomach cancer. The study led by researchers from the University of Hong Kong revealed that daily use of PPIs were linked to more than quadrupling in risk of stomach cancer (4.55) compared with weekly use.
The “clear dose-response and time response trend” in the use of PPIs and stomach cancer risk, suggests that doctors “should exercise caution when prescribing long-term PPIs”, the researchers noted.