NEXIUM-PRILOSEC KIDNEY FAILURE – WHAT IS THE ISSUE?
You know that Prilosec commercial, starring “Larry the Cable Guy” with funny hats and
fireworks? He states:
“This is America – we not only make things you want
but things you didn’t even know you want”
That statement pretty much describes the tactics behind the marketing of Nexium (the purple pill), Prilosec and Prevacid–three highly marketed pharmaceuticals in a class of drugs known as Proton Pump Inhibitors or (“PPIs”). These are billion dollar drugs developed for the
treatment of GERD, or gastroesophageal reflex disease, and for the healing of erosive esophageal issues.
Because many PPIs are available over-the-counter (OTC), people assume they are quite safe and often take them when other heartburn remedies would be more appropriate. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that OTC PPIs are only meant to be used for two weeks at a time, and no more than three courses in a one-year period.
However, overly aggressive marketing campaigns urge consumers to take these drugs once a day as Larry the Cable Guy states: “to prevent heartburn”. To push the public to pop these pills on a daily basis to possibly “prevent” heartburn or acid indigestion is outrageous.
A big problem I am finding with victims who take PPI is that long-term use results in many patients finding it difficult or impossible to come off these drugs due to rebound symptoms. So they basically can not get off these drugs without horrible side effects.
What the public is not aware of, is that these are serious medications and have been previously linked to risks of hip, wrist and spine fractures and severe hepatic impairment.
PPIs and Kidney Disease
On April 14, 2016, researchers published a study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology that showed an increased risk of kidney disease in PPI users over people taking
histamine 2 receptor antagonists (H2 blockers). In looking at records of new users of the drugs in Veterans Administration databases, they found that over the course of five years PPI users were
28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease and had twice the risk of end-stage kidney failure.
The researchers found that long-term PPI users were much more likely to suffer kidney failure than those who took the drugs for a month or less. An earlier study, publish in JAMA
Internal Medicine, in January, found that PPI users had a 20% to 50% greater risk of chronic kidney disease when compared to nonusers and people taking H2 blockers.