Newsmax Health reports that Italian researchers have recently completed a new study on proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, such as Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid, which will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2016. In light of research linking PPIs to increased risk of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure, the study authors questioned if the same drugs might increase risk of kidney stones as well.
In the study the researchers chose to compare PPIs to histamine receptor-2 (H2 blockers) such as Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac, which are also used to reduce stomach acid and treat heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. They were able to analyze data that followed PPI users who were initially free of kidney stones for up to 12 years and patients on H2 blockers for up to 26 years.
Of the 187,330 participants, 3,245 symptomatic kidney stones developed. Researchers found that not only was the PPI use associated with increased risk of developing kidney stones, but the use of H2 blockers was as well.
“After adjusting for a number of factors such as age, race, body mass index, physical activity, smoking status, comorbidities, use of medications, and intake of nutrients, use of PPIs was associated with a 12 percent higher risk of developing a kidney stone, and use of H2 blockers with a 13 percent higher risk,” reported Newsmax Health.
“Use of PPIs and H2 blockers is associated with a small increase in risk of incident kidney stones. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and to investigate whether the excess risk is related to a particular type of kidney stones such as those made of calcium oxalate,” says lead author Dr. Pietro Manuel Ferraro.
Several studies published earlier this year also compared PPIs and H2 blockers. One published in April in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) found that compared to patients taking H2 blockers, PPI users were more likely to experience kidney decline, with PPI users having a 28 percent increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease and a 96 percent increased risk of developing kidney failure.