A research study at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health involving more than 250,000 people, points to an increased risk of kidney disease among those who took one of the popular over-the-counter or prescription medications for heartburn. These medications include Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid. Evidence has also emerged that the drugs may increase the risk of bone fracture, infections, heart problems, nutrient deficiencies and most recently dementia.
While the study does not prove that the drugs can cause kidney disease or any of the other serious conditions, it does suggest that patients should talk to their physicians and carefully consider the risks vs. the rewards associated with taking the medication. Heartburn sufferers should also try other measures first to alleviate heartburn and indigestion. For example, many people see an improvement in their discomfort by changing their diet, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and losing weight.