ST. LOUIS — Proton pump inhibitors, including Nexium, were found to increase the risk of kidney damage or failure as their use continued, in a study conducted and published by professionals of Washington University in St. Louis.

This discovery led the study’s senior author, Ziyad Al-Aly, to advise those taking the drug to limit the duration of use.

The study followed Nexium users for five years. In those five years, it was determined that 15 percent of PPI users suffered chronic kidney disease as opposed to 11 percent of H2 blockers — an alternative to PPI’s. The study determined there was a 28 percent increase in the risk of kidney damage in those who used PPI’s.

Additionally, it was discovered that PPI users were at a 98 percent higher risk of kidney failure than those who took H2 blockers.

A study from Johns Hopkins University published in The Journal of the American Medical Association reached similar conclusions. While these studies do not offer conclusive evidence that PPI’s causes kidney damage, the correlation needs to be taken seriously by users and medical professionals.

“The constellation of findings — the totality of evidence — is compelling,” said Yan Xie, biostatician at the Clinical Epidemiology Center and lead author of the Johns Hopkins study. “The public and the medical community should be aware of the possible risk and should service judicious us of PPI.”

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