Heartburn Medication Kidney Failure and Chronic Kidney Disease Risk

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted April 15, 2016


October 2023 Update: Following an October 2023 PPI heartburn drug lawsuit settlement, Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. is no longer reviewing new potential cases. The information on this page is for informational purposes only.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the makers of Nexium, Prilosec, Dexilant, Protonix, Prevacid, AcipHex and other proton pump inhibitors (PPI) have failed to adequately research the side effects of their medications or warn about the potential kidney risks.

In a study published by the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology on April 14, researchers from St. Louis examined databases from the Department of Veteran Affairs to evaluate kidney outcomes among more than 170,000 users of PPI drugs.

The incidents of chronic kidney disease and end stage kidney failure among users of Nexium, Prilosec and other PPI medications was compared to the risk among individuals who received a different type of heartburn medication, known as H2 blockers, which include Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet and others.

Among the findings, users of Nexium, Prilosec and other PPI-based heartburn drugs had a:

  • 28% increased risk of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD);
  • 96% increased chance of end-stage renal failure, or kidney failure, within five years of starting to use the drugs;
  • Greater kidney damage risk the longer Nexium or other heartburn drugs are used;
  • 15% of PPI users will develop chronic kidney disease within five years.

This research adds to the findings of two prior studies on the link between Nexium and kidney problems, which were published by the medical journal CMAJ Open in April 2015 and JAMA Internal Medicine January 2016.

Heartburn Drug Lawsuits

While most consumers are just starting to learn about the kidney risks from Nexium, Prilosec and other heartburn drugs, manufacturers knew or should have known about the potential side effects for years.

As a result of the apparent decision to place their desire for profits before consumer safety, financial compensation was made available in October 2023 for certain individuals who suffered side effects, including:

  • Acute Interstitial Nephritis
  • Acute Kidney Injury
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • End Stage Renal Disease or Kidney Failure
  • Dialysis Treatment
  • Kidney Transplant
  • Wrongful Death

New proton pump inhibitor (PPI) cases are no longer being investigated by Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. The content on this page is for informational purposes only.

22 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Jeanette says:

    Do you have information on Otc … Zantac , Tums or Alka Seltzer antacids ? I would greatly appreciate you feedback on these three medications . Thank you

    Posted on April 15, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    • Austin Kirk says:

      These products are not proton pump inhibitors, but are other types of heartburn/acid reflux treatments. We are currently only reviewing cases involving use of a PPI. Thanks! Austin Kirk

      Posted on April 18, 2016 at 11:43 am

  • Linda says:

    I have used these drugs for 41 years and now I have an enlarged heart(congestive heart failure) would I qualify in this case?

    Posted on April 16, 2016 at 5:07 pm

  • Joanne says:

    Taken nexium and prilosec. In stage 3 kidney failure.

    Posted on April 17, 2016 at 9:55 am

  • Wendy says:

    The article keeps mentioning “other” heartburn meds. What are those “others”. I am on Omeprazole daily. Where does that fall in this?

    Posted on April 18, 2016 at 10:10 am

    • Austin Kirk says:

      Omeprazole is generic Prilosec. We are reviewing potential claims involving generic equivalents at this time, but they may face some hurdles. Austin Kirk

      Posted on April 18, 2016 at 11:41 am

  • Kimberly says:

    I was just diagnosed renal insufficient stage 2 and diastolic heart failure. Also, right side of my heart enlarged.. I have taken there meds for years.

    Posted on April 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm

  • Nancy says:

    I have been taking omeprazol for years. I was just put on pantaprazol.I also was told to take tums daily to help with the acid reflux. What are the signs of kidney disease.? How do I know if I have a problem.?

    Posted on April 18, 2016 at 12:34 pm

  • sandy says:

    Iv been take Neixm all my life now they put on prilosec n now i have kindey cause i caught a sizure and still dont remember a thing

    Posted on April 18, 2016 at 12:45 pm

  • Ruth says:

    I have been taking Prilosec for more than 30 years. I have been diagnosed with stage 3 Renal failure. I would like to be included in the law suit.

    Posted on April 19, 2016 at 12:19 pm

  • Rosa says:

    I took those medicines for more than 5 years. Now I have chronic kidney disease stage 3.

    Posted on April 19, 2016 at 10:10 pm

  • Gail says:

    I am on Zantax for acid reflux (use the generic form) and have taken it once or twice a day for many years. Im not aware of any problems with my kidneys, etc.. Can you tell me what OTC medication is NOT HARMFUL to take for acid reflex???? I would really appreciate you steering me in the right direction so I dont run into health problems in the future!!

    Posted on May 1, 2016 at 10:12 pm

  • CHARLES E says:


    Posted on May 15, 2016 at 7:57 pm

  • shirley says:

    I have been on heart burn medicine for a long time, stared back in 1985, I got to where i couldn’t eat, lost a lot of weight, Was put in the hospital in 1985 for Scaled eshouadus, Was in the hospital for about a week. They gave me Zantax in my iv. then sent me home, With some more Medicine For acid reflux, I have been on different kinds of acid feflux since then, Was put back in the hospital 12/03/13 Couldn’t eat again lost weight, Found a small hernia. I have had acid reflux disease, And have had it Since 1985, And still have it. Right now i am on prevacid 30mg. generic Lansoprazole, Once a day, For many years. If this medicine is harmful, I would like to know, And what would be the safe’s to take, I can’t eat with out this medicine. And i don’t need any more health problems, I know i have been having Bladder infection, off and on, I have Grandkids to raised, Got to be here for them,

    Posted on May 18, 2016 at 11:48 pm

  • Gregg says:

    I have been taking Prilosec for over 5 years and Nexium before that by prescription; last year my doctor discovered an issue with my blood; he took me off the Prilosec and sent me to a hematologist to be checked out. I have a continuing issue with my blood, kidney and spleen. I have to continue to follow up with my doctor for this issue as it can develop into further issues with my kidneys and spleen.

    Posted on June 12, 2016 at 10:49 pm

  • Kathryn says:

    I have GERD and have taken prescription Prilosec or Omneprazole for at least 10-15 years. I, too, was just diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure, Stage 3. Seems like there are quite a few of us experiencing this. Would be nice if the company would at least pay for future doctor visits & prescription copays for kidney failure related to their drug. My kidneys were perfectly fine before taking this drug.

    Posted on October 4, 2016 at 5:44 am

  • Sharon says:

    I’ve been taking prilosec for years and about a year and half ago i had routine blood work done and my GFR # had dropped. So i had it tested at 6 months intervals and it keeps dropping. The most recent test showed a 6 point drop and now my GFR # is 45 – stage 3 renal failure. I just recently stopped taking the prilosec and im suffering everyday with reflux and heartburn. Now im a wreck to have my blood work done again in May. Im very healthy otherwise – no heart issues and no diabetes.

    Posted on January 8, 2017 at 2:01 pm

  • Joanne says:

    I find these comments very interesting because I have had serious questions these medicines. I was prescribed Nexium in 2007 by my doctor and questioned her when I read recent newspaper articles about Nexium’s awful side affects. She assured me that it was safe to take. In May 2017 I had a severe acid reflux attack – hospitalized – tested, etc. told to continue on Nexium. My GERD condition seems to be getting worse and within the last 2 weeks – I was prescribed another ppi and now off Nexium. I cannot eat solid food, losing weight, and yet was prescribed another medicine. When I read about its permanent side affects that included kidney damage, I refused to take it. Why are these medicines – many that are available without prescription still being prescribed?

    Posted on September 10, 2017 at 9:46 pm

  • Owen says:

    I have taken Nexium over the past 3 years and In October 2017 I was told I had Chronic Kidney Disease. The manufacturer of Nexium should have warned on the label that the use os Nexium could caused Chronic Kidney Disease. They failed to do that and they deserve the many lawuits that have been filed against them. Nexium manufacturer settled a $20 million class action earlier.

    Posted on November 4, 2017 at 1:21 am

  • Shirley says:

    I have been taking Nexium for several years. What are the symptoms of kidney disease? Thank you.

    Posted on November 7, 2017 at 12:47 pm

  • Helen says:

    I have been on omperazole for five years now. I have bladder leak. Is that a sign of future problems.

    Posted on January 3, 2018 at 11:34 am

  • Michael says:

    I’ve been using the drug Fematodine to control my acid reflux. Over the past 5 years I’ve noticed that my ability to hold my water has decreased and I now have to wear those underwear pads to help guard against accidents happening on my way to the bathroom. I’ve learned that there are lawsuits resulting from this situation and I’d like more information about this to see if I should file a suit.

    Posted on August 3, 2019 at 7:17 pm

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