Kidney transplant rejections higher among those prescribed PPI acid-blockers

A retrospective study of kidney transplant patients found that those taking Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) drugs in conjunction with another drug in the year after their surgery were more likely to experience rejection.

According to a report at on a new study from researchers at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, kidney transplant patients taking PPI drugs alongside mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) were more likely to experience organ transplant rejection than those who avoided the acid suppression drugs.  

In evidence presented recently at  the conference Kidney Week 2012, the researchers found that patients taking PPI drugs were 50 percent more likely to suffer biopsy-proven acute rejection (BPAR) of their implant than people who received ranitidine as an acid suppressor. In a group of just more than 600 kidney transplant recipients reviewed for this study, 225 had been prescribed PPI drugs in the year after the transplant. Another 390 were given ranitidine.

The rates of rejection among those groups was 20 percent among those taking PPI drugs and just more than 16 percent among those who had taken ranitidine. The risk of rejection was only present during the first year following the surgery, the study found.

Researchers suggested that PPI prescriptions be judiciously written following a kidney transplant surgery to avoid this extra risk of rejection.

Proton pump inhibitor drugs already carry a wide array of side effects risks and they are among the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide. Some of the most popular PPI drugs include Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix. Persistent use of these drugs that were only designed to be taken in short intervals, not over an extended period of time, has been linked to bone fractures of the hips, spine, and wrists.

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