PPI/Heartburn Medications Lawsuits in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and
According to recent studies, heartburn medications known as proton-pump
inhibitors, or PPIs, such as Prevacid and Nexium may make patients significantly
more likely to suffer short-term or long-term kidney problems compared
to individuals who use other acid reflux drugs. If you have experienced
kidney problems as a result of PPI/heartburn meds, contact our attorneys
at Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. You may be entitled to compensation.
To learn more about how an experienced dangerous drugs lawyer may be able
to help you, call (603) 635-4099.
Dangers of PPI Drugs
According to a study published in the
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, PPI heartburn drugs pose a greater risk of causing kidney disease compared
to other heartburn medications, known as H2 blockers, or histamine H2-receptor
The study took place over 5 years, during which time researchers examined
the renal health of 173,321 individuals who regularly took PPI drugs,
compared to 20,270 who took H2 blockers. After the 5-year study was completed,
the scientists involved concluded that those who regularly took PPIs were
96% more likely to suffer kidney failure and 28% more likely to suffer
chronic kidney disease than those who used H2 blockers, such as Pepcid
and Zantac. Overall, 15% of those using PPIs over the 5-year-period developed
chronic kidney disease.
What are PPI Medications?
Since the early 1980s, PPIS have been used to provide relief for gastric
acid disorders, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and
heartburn. These conditions are caused by stomach acids being regurgitated
into the esophagus. PPIs treat gastric acid disorders by reducing production
of stomach acid through the use of proton pumps, which are enzymes in
the cells of stomach lining which create hydrochloric acid—the main
component of stomach acid.
It’s been reported that as many as one in 20 Americans have used
PPIs to treat gastric acid problems. This has made them extremely profitable
for drug manufacturers, with
Healthline reporting that the market for esomeprazole and omeprazole was worth $13.9
billion in 2008. While some PPIs, such as, Nexium used to only be available
via prescription, Nexium and most other PPIs are now available over-the-counter
as well as by prescription.
In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, warned medical
professionals and patients to exercise caution with high-dose PPIS, especially
when taken for a year or more. At the time, the FDA cited an increased
risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis as the reason. When Nexium became
available over-the-counter in 2014, the FDA mandated that its label be
changed to warn users about potential risk of acute interstitial nephritis,
or AIN. They also forced the bottles to print a warning for users with
B12 deficiencies, which occur when you do not have enough red blood cells
in your body.
Kidney Injuries Caused by PPI
The vast majority of PPI lawsuits being filed are tied to kidney disease
specifically. The 3 kidney disorders linked to PPI heartburn drugs include:
Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN): As mentioned above, the FDA has already warned about the risk of AIN for
PPI users. Known in the medical profession as acute interstitial nephritis,
this disorder causes the spaces between the tubules of the kidney to become
inflamed. Sudden AIN prevents the kidney tubes from absorbing water and
other beneficial substances from the blood, in addition to blocking waste
from being discharged as urine.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Chronic Kidney Disease, of CKD is a condition in which the kidneys are
not able to correctly filter blood. CKD causes the kidneys to lose function,
leading to dangerous build-up of fluids, electrolytes, and waste.
End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD): CKD can sometimes lead to ESRD, or end-stage renal disease, in which the
kidneys have failed entirely. This disease is fatal if not treated with
regular kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant.
PPIs Linked to Kidney Disease
While Nexium has received the most media coverage, it is not the only
heartburn PPI which has been linked to kidney problems. Several prominent
other over-the-counter medications have been tied to kidney trouble as well.
Drugs being investigated based on the PPI study include:
Contact Shaheen & Gordon Today
Shaheen & Gordon, P.A., we are committed to holding the major pharmaceutical companies responsible
for their negligence and corporate indifference. When major corporations
try to take advantage of the American people, our
New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts personal injury lawyers are there to seek justice. If you and/or someone you know has suffered
kidney damage due to PPIs, you may be entitled to compensation. Call today
to schedule a free consultation.
To speak to an attorney, dial (603) 635-4099 now, or
contact us online.