Renal Consult

Do PPIs Pose a Danger to Kidneys?

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Q) Is it true that PPI use can cause kidney disease?

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been available in the United States since 1990, with OTC options available since 2009. While these medications play a vital role in the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) con­ditions, observational studies have linked PPI use to serious adverse events, including dementia, community-acquired pneumonia, hip fracture, and Clostridium difficile infection.1-4

Studies have also found an association between PPI use and kidney problems such as acute kidney injury (AKI), acute interstitial nephritis, and incident chronic kidney disease (CKD).5-7 One observational study used the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national databases to track the renal outcomes of 173,321 new PPI users and 20,270 new histamine H2 receptor antagonist (H2RA) users over the course of five years. Those who used PPIs demonstrated a significant risk for decreased renal function, lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), doubled serum creatinine levels, and progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD).8

Another study of 10,482 patients (322 PPI; 956 H2RA; 9,204 nonusers) and a replicate study of 248,751 patients (16,900 PPI; 6,640 H2RA; 225,211 nonusers) with an initial eGFR ≥ 60 mL/min/1.73m2 also found an association between PPI use and incident CKD, which persisted when compared to the other groups. Additionally, twice-daily PPI use was associated with a higher CKD risk than once-daily use.9


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