Proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) are very potent medications for reducing acid production by the stomach and will reduce symptoms of gastric reflux. PPI’s are such drugs as Omeprazole, Pantoprazole and Lansoprazole. The Prevacid that you mention is a PPI. It is true that PPI’s have been associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and may cause the kidney to lose magnesium leading to low magnesium levels in the blood. At this point, we do not have direct evidence that PPI’s actually cause the kidney disease or are merely associated with CKD. It could be that patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are also associated with CKD. It is not true that PPI’s should always be avoided in patients with CKD. I use these drugs for short times and then try to switch to H2 blockers such as Ranitidine and Famotidine if long term treatment is needed. The Zantac that you mention is Ranitidine.
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