Proton pump inhibitors, such as Prilosec, Prevacid or Nexium, might not be the best choice for patients undergoing hemodialysis. A new study published online at Hemodialysis International suggests that use of the drugs in this patient population is associated hypomagnesemia, or potentially life-threatening low magnesium levels.
The authors of the paper studied 399 patients undergoing hemodialysis. A total of 243 patients in the group were taking a proton pump inhibitor when their magnesium levels were tested. The blood tests revealed that mean magnesium levels were significantly lower than those who were not using the drugs. The low levels were also associated with elevated levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), which is a marker of systemic inflammation, and lower albumin and potassium levels.
Twenty-nine patients died during the study. Those who had high hs-CRP levels (above 4.04 mg/L) in association with low magnesium had a 3-fold increased risk of 1-year mortality.
In 2011, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned that proton pump inhibitor use could cause hypomagnesemia. This condition can lead to muscle spasm (tetany), irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias), and convulsions (seizures).
Long-term use of Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors are known to be associated with a number of other serious side effects, including an increased risk of C. diff infection, certain bone fractures, and B12 deficiency. Some other recent studies have also suggested that extended use of the drugs may be associated with accelerated blood vessel aging, as well as increased risks of heart attacks and dementia.
In April, a paper published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology suggested extended use of the drugs was associated with a 96% increased risk of renal failure and a 28% increase in the risk for chronic kidney disease when compared to another class of heart burn medications. Research that appeared in JAMA Internal Medicine in January also reported that the medications appeared to increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by as much as 50%.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is offering free legal reviews to individuals who may have suffered kidney problems due to their use of Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid. To arrange for your review, please call (888) 994-8177.