Heartburn Pills Linked to Kidney DiseaseHeartburn drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are among the most commonly used drugs in the world. About 15 million Americans use PPIs, either in prescription or over-the-counter form. Brand names include Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium. The drugs have long been touted as a safe way to relieve heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux. They work by inhibiting the production of acid in your stomach, which helps to relieve symptoms but appears to have a number of unintended consequences as well, including for your kidneys. PPIs have previously been linked to a kidney disorder called acute interstitial nephritis. Now researchers have linked them to the risk of chronic kidney disease, prompting experts to call for more caution in their use.