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Study: Older Patients Taking Heartburn Medications at Increased Risk for Kidney Failure
Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs are a popular form of medication used to treat heartburn. However, older patients who take PPIs are at two times the risk of needing hospitalization for kidney failure than those who do not take the drugs, according to Canadian researchers.
A Worrisome Association
Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto studied nearly 300,000 patients 66 and older who took PPIs between 2002 and 2011, and similar number of people who did not take the medication. They then looked at the number of people who had to spend extended time in the hospital for kidney problems within four months.
The researchers found that people who took PPIs for heartburn were hospitalized at a rate of 13.49 percent per 1,000 patients, while those who did not take the medication were hospitalized at a rate of 5.46 percent per 1,000 patients.
Patients should seriously consider whether they actually need to take PPIs for their heartburn, according to the researchers. In many cases, losing weight and avoiding certain foods can help alleviate their condition.
The pharmaceutical attorneys with Baron & Budd have represented several people who have suffered kidney problems after using PPIs and sued the manufacturers of the drugs. Plaintiffs in PPI lawsuits are claiming that the makers of drugs such as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid did not properly communicate the potential risks.