Doctors issue warning over common heartburn and stomach acid medication

After extensive research, doctors have found that long-term use of medication used to treat heartburn and stomach acid could lead

After extensive research, doctors have found that long-term use of medication used to treat heartburn and stomach acid could lead to major kidney damage and disease.

Heartburn and stomach acid are regularly treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which reduce the stomach acid made by glands in the lining of the stomach.

PPIs come in the form of a number of different popular brands, including, omeprazole (brand name Prilosec, also available over the counter), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (AcipHex), pantoprazole (Protonix), dexlansoprazole (Dexilant) and Zegerid (omeprazole with sodium bicarbonate).

The study found that people who take PPIs have a 28% increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease and a 96% higher risk of developing complete kidney failure.

The results back up a number of recent studies into PPIs, which have all come to similar conclusions: long-term use of PPIs is linked to severe kidney damage.

Researchers from the study say the longer a person uses PPIs, the more susceptible they are to developing kidney problems.

The study’s senior author, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, said people should only take PPIs when it is “strictly medically necessary” and should stop taking them as soon as the symptoms disappear.

“A lot of patients start taking PPIs for a medical condition, and they continue much longer than necessary.”

The results will affect millions of Australians who take PPIs for heartburn and stomach acid issues.

Anyone who has concerns over their use of PPIs should visit their doctor to discuss it further.

Do you take medication for heartburn or stomach acid? Will this news affect you?

  1. Allister Hunziker  

    But, is there an alternative? Long term gastric oversupply (heartburn) causes other more serious issues, like stomach cancer, throat cancer etc.

    • Sue  

      Yes I agree with u. I have chronic gastritis and I have tried all sorts of natural remedies to stop
      Taking meds. All failed . I am told by dr if I do not take I will get stomach cancer. Would love to hear of natural alternatives that work .

    • Steve  

      1 x tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with some water usually does the trick for me.

    • Paula. RN  

      1Put a brick or heavy books under the top legs of your bed to raise your torseau. A pillow won’t work.
      2 don’t eat fruit after meals or before going to bed
      3 cut out acidic drinks wine does not help
      4 cut right down if not exclude acidic foods or fatty foods that you know yourself cause reflux
      I have done this myself and no longer get reflux. I stopped taking Nexium which I was on for a long time!

    • Linda  

      Try a digestive aid with a good brand rep. Trust me my cond is cronic and has caused cheilitis around my mouth. L

  2. John M Lambert  

    I had a very serious internal bleed as a result of my hiatus hernia causing stomach acid to attack the base of my oesophugus 11 years ago. Have been taking Nexium ever since as a preventative measure. Recently my kidney health indicators have started to trend in the wrong direction (at 69 years). Obviously I will have to review the situation now. Operations to fix hiatus hernia’s still have a 15% failure rate.

    • Jan  

      Recently had hiatus hernia operation after severe acid reflux for quite some time. Have never felt better since operation last November.

    • Kerrie Goff  

      I have also had an operation to repair hiatus hernia… brilliant result.

  3. Excuse me what is the definition of long term
    People are so non specific in their use of language these days😡

    • Paula. RN  

      I know that you aren’t supposed to be on Nexium more than six months, I was still prescribed it months and a couple of years later. Then I made a decision to try natural ways to stop the reflux

      • Marj...  

        Ji have been taking prescribed Nexium for over 20 years now..if I don’t take it for 1 day the symptoms I have are debilitating…at 65 I’ll take my chances on the side effects…

  4. Heather A  

    This topic has been covered before, I remember responding to it.

  5. Pinkie  

    I’d like to see the study,and the size of it..

    • Helen Anderson  

      Yes it is Cheryl and I’ve been on it for the past 15 years…it either that or a 6 hour operation

    • Paula. RN  

      Probably the sodium that might finish off the kidneys😭

  6. Jyoti gutung  

    Gooseberry we call it ama helps to me

  7. Lucy  

    The vinegar remedy is not for everyone…vinegar absolutely destroys me…the reflux is shocking. As for the PPI treatment…”everything in moderation”… and for me personally…this includes medications where possible. If you have any concerns, don’t be guided too much by this forum…there are several conditions surrounding stomach acid with varying causes and symptoms…always consult your doctor.

  8. Alwyn  

    The alternative is worse. Oesophagus cancer

  9. Jo Ann Unwin  

    Good old fashion bi carb soda works for me half a teaspoon in a little water. Then a glass of water. Don’t know the effects on kidneys but it works. I used to take Nexium.

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