The Pills Which Reduce Gastric Acid may Silently Harm Your Kidney: Study


US scientists alerted that taking pills to lower the levels of gastric acid for prolonged periods may cause serious kidney issues, such as kidney failure.

Taking popular heartburn pills for a long time has been related to dangerous kidney problems. Heartburn is caused due to indigestion and causes burning sensation in the chest, due to reverse flow of acid into the oesophagus.

According to experts from Washington University in St. Louis, the abrupt onset of kidney issues often acts as a red flag for doctors to stop their patients use of so-called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) that lower the secretion of gastric acid.The study is published in the journal of Kidney International.

“Our research determined that kidney issues may rise slowly and gradually over time, hampering kidney function and causing long-term kidney damage or even kidney failure. Patients should be warned to tell their doctors if they’re taking PPIs and only consume the drugs when necessary,” said study’s senior author Ziyad Al-Aly.

The research analysed 1,25,596 new users of PPIs and 18,436 new users of other heartburn drugs commonly known as H2 blockers. H2 blockers are comparatively less likely to cause kidney problems but are not much effective. After analyzing the study for five years, the results showed that more than 80 percent of PPI users did not suffer acute kidney problems, which are mostly reversible and are reported by very less amount of urine leaving the body, weakness and swelling of legs and ankles.

A large number of chronic kidney damage and end-stage renal disease linked with PPI use seen in people without acute kidney problems.”Doctors must carefully monitor kidney function in the patients who use PPIs, even when there are no visible signs of the disease,” alerted Al-Aly.

“Generally, we warn clinicians to check whether PPI use is medically important in the first place because the drugs can cause significant harm, such as deterioration of kidney function,” Al-Aly completed.