Proton pump inhibitors are drugs used for stomach conditions like ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux. They’ve also been associated with kidney failure.
All drugs, both over the counter and prescription, have potential side effects. For example, some drugs may affect your kidneys and can lead to kidney failure.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a common drug type used for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other health conditions, are one such drug type. Keep reading to learn more about how PPIs affect your kidneys.
What are proton pump inhibitors?
PPIs are a type of drug that’s often used to treat GERD, a condition where your stomach contents come up into your esophagus (the tube that connects your throat to your stomach). These drugs are also used to treat other conditions like stomach ulcers and Helicobacter pylori infection.
Acute kidney injury
Drug reactions are the
Studies have found that people using PPIs are at an increased risk of interstitial nephritis and
Chronic kidney disease
CKD progresses more slowly, typically over a period of years. The
AKI can increase your risk of developing CKD in the future. As such, one idea of how PPIs contribute to CKD is through a previous AKI.
Despite this, some
AKI and CKD have been reported with all PPIs. There are
- dexlansoprazole (Dexilant)
- esomeprazole (Nexium)
- lansoprazole (Prevacid)
- omeprazole (Prilosec)
- pantoprazole (Protonix)
- rabeprazole (AcipHex)
Meanwhile, rabeprazole and omeprazole had the lowest signals for AKI and CKD, respectively. This means they were the least likely to lead to these types of kidney conditions.
How long does it take a PPI to cause issues?
For most individuals, PPIs are safe and effective when used under a doctor’s supervision. The only solid reason you shouldn’t take PPIs is if you have a history of allergic reactions to them.
PPIs can also interact with other drugs processed by your liver. When this happens, it can increase or decrease the amounts of these drugs in your bloodstream. A few examples of drugs that interact with PPIs in this way are:
- atazanavir (Reyataz), an HIV antiviral
- diazepam (Valium), a sedative
- methotrexate (Trexall), an immunosuppressant drug
- phenytoin (Phenytek), a seizure drug
- tacrolimus (Prograf), an immunosuppressant drug
- warfarin, a blood thinner
Because they affect your production of stomach acid, don’t use PPIs with drugs that require a certain pH level in order to be absorbed. Examples include:
If PPIs cause kidney issues, a doctor will take you off of them. It’s possible that another type of drug, such as an H2 receptor blocker may be prescribed to treat your GERD symptoms instead.
Typically, once kidney damage has occurred, it can’t be reversed. But kidney damage can be reduced when it’s detected and treated early.
Symptoms of kidney damage
It’s important to be aware of symptoms that may be PPIs affecting your kidneys and to see a doctor if they occur. These include:
Some of the common side effects of PPIs include:
Other potential adverse effects associated with PPIs are:
PPIs are a common type of drug that’s used for GERD and stomach ulcers. PPIs have also been associated with both AKI and CKD.
AKI due to PPIs often happens due to interstitial nephritis, where your immune system reacts to a drug. The mechanism behind how PPIs are associated with CKD is less clear.
If you’re prescribed PPIs and have concerns about kidney problems or other adverse effects, have an open conversation with a doctor. They’ll be able to address any questions or concerns that you may have.