Proton Pump Inhibitors and Kidney Disease - GI Upset for the Nephrologist?

Kidney Int Rep. 2017 May;2(3):297-301. doi: 10.1016/j.ekir.2017.01.005. Epub 2017 Jan 23.


Widely regarded as safe and effective, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are among the most commonly used medications in the world today. However, a spate of observational studies suggest an association between PPI use and adverse events, including infection, bone fracture, and dementia. This review details evidence linking the use of PPI therapy to the development of kidney disease, including early case reports of acute interstitial nephritis and subsequent large observational studies of acute kidney injury (AKI), chronic kidney disease (CKD), and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The majority of studies showed higher risk of kidney outcomes among persons prescribed PPI medications, with effect sizes that were slightly higher for AKI (∼2-3-fold) compared to CKD and ESRD (1.2-1.8-fold). Although observational pharmaco-epidemiology studies are limited by the possibility of residual confounding and confounding by indication, many of the described studies conducted rigorous sensitivity analyses aimed at minimizing these biases, including new-user design, comparison to similar agents (e.g., histamine2 receptor antagonists), and evaluation for a dose-response, with robust results. Given the widespread use of PPIs, even a small effect on kidney outcomes could result in large public health burden. Timely cessation of PPI therapy when there is no clear indication for use might reduce the population burden of kidney disease.