Researchers at the University of Florida have linked acid reducing proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, such as Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec, to another risk.
They are already under fire for links to kidney disease and kidney failure. The manufacturers of these drugs are being sued by many patients with serious kidney injuries who allege “negligence, design defect, failure to warn, fraudulent concealment, warranty claims and loss of consortium” as the cause of action against defendants. The popular drugs have also been linked to increased risk for gastric cancer, stroke, heart attack, dementia, C. difficile infections, and bone fractures.
The new study warns that these drugs, which are prescribed to more than 15 million Americans in just a single year and available over-the-counter to countless more, might not be safe for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Specifically the study found that PPIs may increase risk of hospitalization for pulmonary exacerbations in CF patients.
The researchers looked at the records of UF’s Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center in Gainesville, Florida, identifying 114 adults seen between January and December 2016. Upon analyzation of one-year’s worth of follow-up data on PPI use and hospitalization in these patients, the researchers found that 51.7 percent of patients were hospitalized at least once, the same percentage who had used PPIs for six or more months. The research linked PPI use with the number of hospitalizations for pulmonary exacerbation.
Most of the patients being treated with PPIs were using it to control gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Because the study did not link GER to the same risk for hospitalization, with GER having a similar prevalence in hospitalized and non hospitalized patients, the researchers believed the evidence supports a causative link between PPI and pulmonary exacerbations. Retrospective studies of this kind, however, cannot prove cause and effect.
Based on their findings, the UF team suggests that “prescribers of PPI therapy should exercise pharmacovigilance; frequently re-evaluating indications and appropriateness of therapy and in the setting of GER considering alternate management modalities such as anti-reflux surgery where appropriate,” reports Cystic Fibrosis News Today.
Cystic Fibrosis News Today