Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were first developed in 1979 with the discovery of omeprazole (Prilosec). However, it wasn’t until 1988 that Prilosec became the first PPI to be sold on the market. Additional PPIs entered into the mainstream market after Prilosec, including Prevacid (lansoprazole) in 1995 and Nexium (esomeprazole) in 2011. Prevacid has been available over the counter in the U.S. since 2009.
In 2010 the FDA warned that the use of PPIs may increase the risk of fractures on the hip, wrist, and spine. Then in March of 2011, the FDA warned that patients treated with PPIs for at least three months could experience low magnesium levels. Low magnesium levels can cause muscle spasms, irregular heart beat and seizures.
In 2013, it is estimated that 15 million Americans were prescribed a PPI. This number does not include those who purchased the drug over the counter, meaning that this number is much larger.
In February of 2016 the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, published a study which showed an increased risk of the development of chronic kidney disease in those patients who used a PPI. The study indicated that the longer a PPI is taken, the greater the risk. Another study published in April of 2016 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology also found that the use of PPIs may lead to serious kidney damage. The study found a 28 percent great risk in developing chronic kidney disease in those who used PPIs.