PPI/Heartburn Medications Lawsuits in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts
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 antagonists.
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
At 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. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney, dial (603) 635-4099 now, or contact us online.
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