VA Medical Center Researchers Link Proton Pump Inhibitors to Chronic Kidney Disease

Published on September 22, 2016 by Sandy Liebhard

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A new study conducted by researchers at the VA Medical Center in Buffalo, New York is the latest to suggest that proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease. The research team  also theorized that the potential for the drugs to cause acute interstitial nephritis may be the reason why.

Proton Pump Inhibitors and Chronic Kidney Disease

The study drew data from more than 99,000 patients who were treated via the Veterans Affairs Health Care Upstate New York network from April 2001 through April 2008. From that group, the study team identified more than 76,000 who had no history of pre-existing kidney disease at baseline. During the course of the investigation, more than 19,000 went on to develop chronic kidney disease. Of those, 24% had used a proton pump inhibitor, suggesting that the heartburn drugs increased a patient’s risk by 10%. Those who took the drugs also had a 76% increased risk of death.

“Use of proton pump inhibitors is associated with increased risk of development of CKD and death,” the study concluded. “With the large number of patients being treated with proton pump inhibitors, healthcare providers need to be better educated about the potential side effects of these medications.”

The authors of the report suggested that chronic kidney disease associated with proton pump inhibitors could be a consequence of acute interstitial nephritis, a type of drug-induced kidney inflammation that often goes untreated and unrecognized. In 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration asked proton pump manufacturers to include mention of this condition on their product labels. If it is not recognized and treated promptly, acute interstitial nephritis can progress to kidney disease and renal failure.

The study, which was published last month in BMC Nephrology, was the third this year to link proton pump inhibitors to serious kidney complications. In April, research published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reported that long-term users of proton pump inhibitors may be 96% more likely to develop kidney failure and 28% more likely to develop kidney disease compared to patients.  Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in January also suggested that proton pump inhibitors might increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by as much as 50%.

Last year, a study published in the April issue of CMAJ Open suggested that t proton pump inhibitor use was associated with  a 3-fold increase in the odds for acute interstitial nephritis, as well as a 2.5 times higher risk of acute kidney injury.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Litigation

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is actively filing proton pump inhibitor lawsuits on behalf of individuals diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and other serious renal complications. To discuss filing a claim with a member of our legal team, please call (888) 994-8177.

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