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Another Scary Side Effect Linked to Heartburn Drugs

Acid suppressing drugs used to treat heartburn double the risk of kidney damage among older people.

Canadian researchers have found that older people taking acid suppressing drugs such as esomeprazole, lansoprazole and omeprazole are at higher risk for kidney failure.

The scientists used medication and hospitalization records of nearly 600,000 senior citizens in Ontario between 2002 and 2011. Approximately half of these people were taking proton pump inhibitors like Nexium or Prilosec, while the other half were not.

Although hospitalization for kidney injury was uncommon, occurring in less than 1 percent of those in the study, it was still more than twice as likely among people on the heartburn medicines.

Other Worrisome Side Effects

This is not the only potentially serious side effect these drugs have been linked to. Other complications include osteoporosis and bone fracture as well as pneumonia and C diff intestinal infections. We have written about them here.

CMAJ Open, April 16, 2015

If you are wondering how to handle heartburn without risking these side effects, you may be interested in our Guide to Digestive Disorders. We discuss drugs and non-drug treatments as well as ways to get off proton pump inhibitors.

1/7/19 redirected to: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/articles/heartburn/

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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