Dexilant is a proton pump inhibitor, or PPI, that is prescribed to help control gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux, ulcers and heartburn. PPI’s are among the most heavily prescribed medications in the world despite recent reports showing that PPI (Dexilant) users have an increased risk of suffering from kidney failure. Dexilant has also been linked to kidney inflammation (nephritis), renal disease, and Chronic Kidney Disease.
What is Dexilant?
Dexilant is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drug, manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.. It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1995 for use in treating symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is commonly prescribed for a variety of stomach issues including acid reflux, ulcers, and heartburn.
In recent years, a number of studies have found a link between PPI (Dexilant) use and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded, “Proton pump inhibitor use is associated with a higher risk of incident chronic kidney disease with an end total of 1,921 study participants experiencing chronic kidney disease.” Dexilant is still being prescribed to patients.
Other prescription PPI drugs include:
What are the side effects of Dexilant?
Dexilant (rabeprazole) has a variety of common and adverse side effects. If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, contact your health care provider immediately.
Common Side effects:
- Abdominal pain
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Vomiting, and
Serious Side effects:
- Chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats
- Severe stomach pain
- Diarrhea that is watery or bloody
- Worsening heartburn
- Low magnesium (dizziness, confusion, fast or uneven heart rate, jerking muscle movements, jittery feeling, muscle cramps, muscle weakness or limp feeling, cough or choking feeling, seizure)
- Acute Injuries
- Acute interstitial nephritis (AIN)
- Acute tubular necrosis (ATN)
- Acute kidney injury (AKI)
- Acute kidney failure (AKF)
- Chronic Injuries
- Chronic kidney disease
- Renal and/or kidney failure
- End stage renal disease (ESRD)
- Stomach cancer
It’s important to note the initial symptoms of a heart attack often mirror the symptoms of heartburn. If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or tingling of the shoulders and arms, contact a physician or dial 911 immediately.
CKD and Dexilant
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a potentially fatal disease where the normal function of the kidney is compromised. Kidneys extract waste and excess fluids from the bloodstream. These are then excreted in the urine. When their function is compromised, dangerous levels of fluids and waste can build up in the body.
The treatment for CKD is usually centered around the underlying cause of the kidney failure. CKD often progresses into end-stage kidney failure, which requires artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant as treatment. End-stage kidney failure is often fatal.
Studies have shown a link between PPI (Dexilant) use and CDK, with one study showing a 28% increase in risk for developing the chronic disease. Another study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, showed an increase in patients prescribed to PPI’s. NPR quoted Adam Schoenfeld, who co-authored an editorial accompanying the study, as saying:
“..we put [people] on this medication thinking: ‘It’s a quick fix and they’re very safe.’ But in actuality they’re associated with a range of side effects.”
Other Risks Associated with Dexilant
For years Dexilant and other PPI’s were prescribed in staggering numbers, as they were thought to be relatively harmless. After over 20 years on the market, the long-term safety of the drug is being called into question. Recent studies show PPI’s may increase risk in developing a number of painful and potentially life threatening conditions such as:
- Rhabdomyolysis (a painful syndrome caused by the release of muscle fibers into the bloodstream)
- Cardiovascular complications|
- Loss of brain function (hepatic encephalopathy or ‘HE’).
PPI drug statistics across the world
PPIs have remained amongst the top-selling drugs in the world since their approval in the mid 1990’s. They are considered to be the most effective drug in treating GERD and heartburn, conditions that affect millions of people each year. Though PPIs are widely accepted as being “safe drugs”, they have been shown to cause a host of complications.
Sufferers have reported cases ranging from kidney disease, to heart attacks. PPIs have even been linked to an increased risk for dementia in patients over 65 years old. In the 20 years since the drug class’ approval, adverse accounts continue to mount related to long term exposure to Proton Pump Inhibitors.
CNN reported on the potentially devastating risks of PPI’s by saying, “even a casual relationship between PPI use and CKD could have a considerable public health effect given the widespread extent of use.”
At the time this article was published, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. is still manufacturing Dexilant and doctors are still writing millions of prescriptions for PPI’s each year.