People suffering from heartburn and acid reflux end up taking common drugs with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These drugs, such as Nexium and Prevacid, reduced the amount of acid produced in the stomach to provide relief to the person suffering from acidity.

In addition to reducing the acidity in the stomach, PPIs also helps treat peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease and damage to the lower esophagus which may take place as a result of acid reflux.

However, a latest research suggests that such medication could damage the kidneys, putting the person at an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

In one of the studies, researcher Benjamin Lazarus of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, studied 10,482 healthy adults between 1996 and 2011. Lazarus and his colleagues found that subjects, who took PPI, were 20 to 50 percent more likely to develop CKD than non-users. The study results were replicated in another 240,000 patients tracked between 1997 and 2014, and the results were no different.

Another study conducted by Dr. Pradeep Arora of the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Science in New York, studied 24,000 individuals with CKD between 2001 and 2008. The researchers found that one in every four patients were previously prescribed a PPI. The team also found that people, who took PPI, were more likely to die prematurely.

"It is very reasonable to assume that PPIs themselves can cause chronic kidney disease," said Arora, reported the Tech Times. "Patients should only use PPIs for [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] - approved indications, and not to treat simple heartburn or indigestion."