Stomach troubles can make life unbearable, and they affect a vast number of people across the globe. So it’s no wonder that a class of drugs that treats heartburn and acid reflux is the third most commonly used type of medication in the United States and beyond, Forbes reported.
What happens when a drug that’s so common that roughly 7% of Americans take it turns out to cause irreversible damage to one of the body’s most essential organs? Thousands of people get hurt.
Those people need medical treatment for the severe harm they’ve suffered. But they also need so much more.
You didn’t ask for this. You don’t want to deal with insurance companies, mounting medical bills, and a lengthy recovery. You want to get your life back on track as quickly as you can.
Console and Associates has 25 years of experience handling personal injury claims. Over that time, we’ve worked with law firms across the country, including those that handle proton pump inhibitor lawsuits. If we cannot handle a claim, our goal is to connect you with an experienced attorney who can. If you suffered as a result of a proton pump inhibitor, call today. We’ll ask you a few questions so that we can put you in touch with the right attorney.
PPI Complication Compensation
Already, hundreds of patients have filed lawsuits against the makers of these drugs. They include people who took Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, and other PPI medications. However, that’s still just a small fraction of the people who went on to develop kidney failure from these drugs.
It’s believed that at least 5,000 PPI kidney disease cases are being investigated across the nation, according to ABC10.
There’s no telling how many people haven’t come forward yet. Many patients don’t know there’s a connection between their heartburn medication and kidney failure.
Any patient who has suffered kidney damage after taking a proton pump inhibitor should speak to an attorney. The consultation is free and risk-free, so you have nothing to lose, and if you’re eligible for compensation, you may have a lot to gain.
What Is a Proton Pump Inhibitor?
Proton pump inhibitor medications are used to treat medical conditions caused by excess stomach acid. Many different conditions might involve proton pump inhibitor (PPI) treatment. Some of the conditions that you might treat with a PPI include:
- Acid reflux
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Persistent heartburn
- Barrett’s esophagus, a premalignant condition in which abnormal changes in the cells in the esophagus can develop into deadly cancer if left untreated
- Dyspepsia, a condition characterized by impaired digestion of food
- Gastritis, inflammation of the stomach lining
- Erosive esophagitis, in which acid that backs up into the esophagus and causes it to develop tissue damage
- Laryngopharyngeal reflux or extraesophageal reflux disease
- Eosinophilic esophagitis, an allergic condition in which the esophagus becomes inflamed
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Gastrinoma, a tumor located in the pancreas or duodenum that creates an excess of the hormone gastrin and can cause ulcers
- Zollinger, Ellison syndrome, in which tumors in the stomach cause the body to produce too much acid, resulting in peptic ulcers
Due to the variety of medical conditions proton pump inhibitors can treat, a large number of patients take them. However, for some patients, the risks, like permanent kidney damage, far outweigh the benefits.
Proton Pump Inhibitor Definition
What does proton pump inhibitor actually mean? The drug interferes with pumps in the body that produce stomach acid. This prevents an excess of gastric juice from causing discomfort or serious damage to your health.
What is a Proton Pump?
The stomach produces a digestive fluid called gastric acid or stomach acid to digest the food you eat. Specifically, a chemical system within the body, called the proton pump or acid pump, is what produces your gastric acid.
How Stomach Acid Works
Stomach acid is essential for proper digestion, but it’s also highly corrosive. It’s as powerful as battery acid and potent enough to dissolve metal or to eat a hole through wood.
It’s hard to believe that an acid that dangerous is naturally present in your body. Fortunately, the body has protections in place to keep that acid contained. A protective lining keeps gastric acid from damaging the walls of the stomach. A muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter prevents the stomach acid from rising up into the tube that connects the throat to the stomach.
Problems arise when you have an excess of stomach acid, or when that stomach acid moves to places it’s not supposed to go.
When your body produces too much gastric acid, it can eat through the protective stomach lining. This leads to a painful ulcer. If the valve that keeps the stomach acid from rising up from the stomach and into your esophagus doesn’t work, that acid can damage your esophagus.
Proton Pump Inhibitor Mechanism of Action
PPI meds fight heartburn, ulcers, and other problems by reducing the amount of gastric acid your stomach produces. These drugs inhibit or hinder, the performance of the proton pumps that produce stomach acid.
The result is less corrosive acid in your stomach. That means less chance of the chemical rising up into the esophagus or eroding your stomach lining.
Most PPIs are tablets or capsules that you take by mouth, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Some proton pump inhibitors are injectable fluids. These PPIs are used in IVs in hospitals and medical facilities.
Proton pump inhibitors come in both prescription and over-the-counter forms. Either type of PPI could lead to severe kidney problems. If you suffered harm after taking any PPI, whether prescribed to you, or bought over the counter, speak with your doctor.
Proton Pump Inhibitor Drug List
Photo credit with modification: Will Culpepper, Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons.
You might be surprised at how many different proton pump inhibitor brand names there are. Some trade names are familiar, from television commercials or the shelves of drugstores.
Some of the biggest proton pump inhibitor brand names in the U.S. market include:
- Nexium (esomeprazole)
- Prilosec (omeprazole)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Protonix (pantoprazole)
- Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)
- Zegerid (omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate)
- AcipHex (rabeprazole)
- Vimovo (esomeprazole and naproxen)
For a more comprehensive list of PPIs with the option to filter by each specific disease or acid-related condition, please visit Drugs.com.
Which PPI medication works the best? Consumer Reports investigated proton pump inhibitor efficacy. The publication found that ,all are similar, despite the ,big differences in price.,
Has a Nexium lawsuit commercial made you question whether your kidney damage could have been prevented?
The proton pump inhibitor Nexium may be the most well-known of the PPI drugs in the U.S. Nexium, the purple pill, comes in three forms:
- Prescription delayed-release capsules
- Injectable Nexium IV vials
- Nexium 24HR over-the-counter
Despite its popularity, you,d be surprised at how many patients eventually ask if Nexium is bad for you. Though PPIs are widely used and often considered harmless, Nexium problems aren’t unheard of. In fact, Nexium side effects can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Severe allergic reactions
However, the biggest concern is the link between Nexium and kidney damage. Like other PPIs, esomeprazole can cause kidney disease. At times, this harm can be serious. In fact, Nexium lawsuits of 2017 included claims of deaths due to kidney damage.
If you take Nexium for heartburn or acid reflux, you might have the grounds for a private lawsuit against maker AstraZeneca, or you might be eligible for a Nexium class action lawsuit.
Prilosec treats gastroesophageal reflux disease by decreasing the amount of acid produced by the stomach. “More than 15 million Americans are using proton pump inhibitors, but as many as 70 percents of these prescriptions have been handed out inappropriately, and 25 percent of long-term users could stop taking the medication without suffering increased heartburn or acid reflux,” according to CBS News.
Is Prilosec bad for you? If this question has you worried, it may be time to consult your doctor. Prilosec problems have affected many PPI users, harming their health substantially.
Omeprazole was the first PPI available on the U.S. drug market, approved in 1989. It remains one of the most used heartburn drugs, sold in forms such as:
- Prilosec delayed-release capsules, available by prescription
- Prilosec OTC sold without a prescription
For many patients who take PPIs, Prilosec lawsuit commercials are what first drew their attention to the issue. These patients had no idea there was a connection between omeprazole and kidney failure. The lack of transparency is what has so many Prilosec attorneys outraged. In fact, the U.S. National Library of Medicine doesn’t even mention the possibility of kidney damage as a potential risk, though it does listless serious side effects such as constipation, gas, nausea, and vomiting.
It’s wrong that patients remained in the dark about serious omeprazole dangers for so long. Without knowing about the Prilosec effects on kidneys, patients couldn’t make an informed decision about whether or not the drug was safe to take. And now that they’ve suffered serious harm, many patients still don’t know they have the right to pursue a Prilosec lawsuit in 2017.
If you suffered renal failure after taking the proton pump inhibitor omeprazole, one option is to consider filing a Prilosec lawsuit.
A lesser-known PPI called Protonix can also lead to kidney failure. Protonix is available as both delayed-release prescription tablets and as injectable vials used in IVs. The maker of Protonix, Pfizer, is now facing pantoprazole lawsuits over the damage the drug can do to the kidneys.
Dexilant is another of the proton pump inhibitor drugs linked with serious kidney damage. The drug’s maker, Takeda Pharms USA, is the target of PPI kidney failure lawsuits linked to both regular Dexilant delayed-release capsules and orally disintegrating capsules known as Dexilant SoluTab.
Like Prilosec, Zegerid contains the PPI medication omeprazole. It also has another active ingredient, sodium bicarbonate, which acts to keep the gastric acid in your stomach from eating through the omeprazole too quickly. Unfortunately, the combination of omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate can still cause kidney disease. In fact, some patients taking proton pump inhibitor medications have needed kidney transplants.
The PPI medication AcipHex is manufactured by Eisai Co., Ltd. and marketed by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. AcipHex contains the proton pump inhibitor rabeprazole. Like other drugs in the proton pump inhibitor class, AcipHex can lead to kidney disease and permanent kidney damage.
Vimovo was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010. This PPI medication was first produced by AstraZeneca, an Anglo-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company, which later sold Vimovo’s U.S. rights to Horizon Pharma.
Vimovo is a combination product that contains esomeprazole and naproxen. Esomeprazole is a PPI that reduces the amount of acid made by the stomach, while naproxen (NAID) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug known to treat inflammation, pain, and fever. Unfortunately, much like the other medications mentioned, Vimovo is linked to some critical side effects including chronic kidney disease, renal failure, acute interstitial nephritis, heart attacks, strokes, bone fractures, cardiac disorders, and more.
Proton Pump Inhibitors and Kidney Disease
Every medication has side effects. However, one proton pump inhibitor danger is particularly life-changing: kidney problems. Multiple studies have now linked PPIs like Nexium and Prilosec to an increased risk of chronic kidney disease.
Discovering Proton Pump Inhibitor Kidney Injuries
At one time, evidence connecting proton pump inhibitor use and the risk of chronic kidney disease wasn’t very convincing. The existing studies then showed a link between PPIs and kidney problems like acute interstitial nephritis. However, they stopped shy of linking the medications to chronic kidney disease.
But further research found that proton pump inhibitor use is associated with a higher risk of incident CKD, the JAMA Internal Medicine journal reported in 2016. In fact, patients on proton pump inhibitor therapy had, a 20 percent to 50 percent higher risk of chronic kidney disease, CBS News reported.
Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is no small matter. The kidneys perform an essential function in the body, filtering waste out of your blood. When they suffer damage or disease, they can no longer do this work as effectively.
Many different health problems can result, according to The National Kidney Foundation. These complications can include:
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- High blood pressure
- Nerve damage
- Weak bones
Each of these complications presents its own problems. But the biggest concern is kidney failure. If kidney disease progresses, it can cause your kidneys to shut down. When this happens, you need to either have a kidney transplant or undergo dialysis just to survive.
Symptoms of PPI Kidney Damage
Perhaps the biggest concern when it comes to PPI kidney problems is recognizing signs of kidney disease in time. Early detection of kidney damage plays an important role in stopping disease progression before it gets worse.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of kidney disease are often non-specific and easy to miss if they appear at all. Many patients don’t notice any symptoms until kidney disease has already progressed to a more advanced stage, CBS News reported. By then, the damage is already serious and difficult to repair.
Some signs that could indicate kidney damage include:
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Problems sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Dry, itchy skin
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Muscle cramps, especially at night
- Increased need to urinate
These symptoms are so general that patients might not realize they’re even connected to each other, much less that kidney damage is to blame for them.
Proton Pump Inhibitor Problems
Kidney disease is the most serious of proton pump inhibitor side effects, but it’s far from the only risk.
The Most Common PPI Side Effects
Some of the most widely reported proton pump inhibitor risks include:
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea or vomiting
Other proton pump inhibitor effect has also been reported, such as:
- Rash or itch
- Anxiety and depression.
- Difficulty absorbing nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin B12
- Low levels of magnesium
- Increased risk of bacterial infections, particularly Clostridium difficile infections
- Increased risk of pneumonia
Relatively minor side effects typically aren’t sufficient to bring forward PPI claims. That’s the reason most proton pump inhibitor lawsuit commercials often focus on the most serious adverse events, like irreparable kidney damage.
However, sometimes, what seems like a simple side effect of taking proton pump inhibitors is actually an early sign of kidney disease. If you’re suspicious at all, it’s worth talking about your situation with your doctor, and then, with a proton pump inhibitor injury attorney.
Proton Pump Inhibitor Long Term Effects
It’s true that even over-the-counter PPIs can lead to kidney damage. However, the impact of proton pump inhibitors on your health often depends on factors like how long you’ve taken the medication and how much you take. Patients using high proton pump inhibitor dosages for years may be more at risk than patients who have taken low dosages of the medication for a short period of time, or those who use OTC versions of the drugs once in a while.
In addition to a greater likelihood of suffering kidney disease or other adverse events, some proton pump inhibitor side effects affect long-term users exclusively. For example, if you’ve taken Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Dexilant, or another PPI for a long time, you might have an increased risk of bone fractures. You might also develop benign polyps, or abnormal tissue growths, in the stomach. While these growths aren’t cancerous, they can certainly be disturbing to unsuspecting patients using proton pump inhibitor long-term.
In a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Gut, researchers concluded that long-term use of PPIs was still associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer development after treatment for HP therapy. If you have used these medications for more than three years and believe it increased your risk of developing stomach cancer, than you may have grounds for a PPI side effects lawsuit.
What Attorneys Look for in a Proton Pump Inhibitor Case
Your life has changed forever. Shouldn’t someone be accountable for all that you’ve suffered due to these proton pump inhibitor adverse effects?
You took a proton pump inhibitor to feel better, but instead, the medicine hurt you and made things worse. You just want to get your life back on track, but you’re not sure what to do next. That’s where a proton pump inhibitor lawyer can help. If you don’t know who to call, call us. We will put you in contact with an attorney at a national law firm who can answer your questions.
You won’t have to pay to speak to an attorney about your claim. If they take your case you won’t have to worry about legal fees or expenses. Every law firm within our network operates on a contingency fee model. Your lawyer won’t get a dime until they win your case.