Heartburn Medication (PPIs) Lawsuit
People with ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease may be recommended to use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which reduce acid production that is necessary to form ulcers. Common brands of PPIs you may have heard of include Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec and Protonix. While PPIs may reduce acid, prevent ulcers and allow existing ulcers to heal, a 2016 study published in the Journal of American Medicine found using PPIs is associated with an up to 50 percent higher risk of chronic kidney disease. Many patients were unaware of the risks when they started taking PPIs.
A 2017 study published in Kidney International reinforces the findings, adding PPI use is also associated with increased risks of acute kidney injury and end-stage renal disease. The study found more than half of PPI users who develop chronic kidney damage show no signs of acute kidney injury beforehand. Because of the widespread use of proton pump inhibitors that are prescribed unnecessarily two-thirds of the time, including for ailments like heartburn or minor indigestion that do not require them, chronic kidney disease prevalence has risen more quickly than expected.
If you or a loved one has experienced health issues including chronic kidney disease and has used PPI inhibitors, you should be aware that you may be able to secure compensation for your pain and suffering by filing a lawsuit. Contact Pittman, Dutton & Hellums for a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so there is absolutely no risk to you to learn more about your options.
Various lawsuits against PPI manufacturers have happened in the past decade due to issues such as improper promotion of how to use products. In 2016, the first lawsuit against a PPI manufacturer in relation to kidney disease was filed. The lawsuit against AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical, which makes Nexium, alleges that the drug is associated with chronic kidney disease and other renal complications.
In 2017, a lawsuit was filed against Takeda, the parent company of PPI Prevacid. The product liability lawsuit alleges Takeda failed to warn doctors and patients about the risk of kidney injury associated with Prevacid.
As of May 2017, there were more than 15 other lawsuits regarding PPI products pending in federal courts, and thousands of potential lawsuit investigations are currently taking place. In August 2017, a U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated more than 275 lawsuits from across the country, and the case is currently in the discovery stage.
Because of the studies that have been done and increasing knowledge about the risks of PPIs, more strong lawsuits are expected to reach courts to help get kidney damage victims compensation they deserve due to negligence by drug manufacturers. A 2017 study also found a potential link between PPI usage and dementia, with regular PPI users having at least a 44 percent increased risk of dementia compared with people who don’t use the drugs.
First, if you have ever used a PPI, you should gather materials regarding when you were prescribed PPI medication and advice on how long you should take it for. Often, victims take PPI medication far longer than they should be on it, and sometimes this is due to poor marketing by the drug companies.
Discuss with your physician the risks of the PPI and if your physician has alternatives. Whether or not you decide to stop using PPI medication, you should get a kidney examination and regular follow-up checkups to stay safe. Chronic kidney disease has no cure and can lead to serious long-term problems and complications, including:
- Poor vitamin D and bone health
- Low blood cell count
- High blood pressure
- Bleeding from the stomach or intestines
- Arm and leg nerve damage
- Heart and blood vessel complications
- Liver damage
- End-stage kidney disease and kidney failure, which will require dialysis or a kidney transplant
Signs you may have chronic kidney disease include:
- Swelling in extremities
- Changes in urination
- Skin itching or rashes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk with a physician immediately. Ask about how your use of a PPI may have contributed to chronic kidney disease, and keep all medical records organized and up to date.
If you have already discovered kidney damage and have used PPI medication in the past, contact Pittman, Dutton & Hellums. We have extensive experience working on cases against large corporations that seem too big to take on. Our law firm cares about our clients and helping them to lead happier lives through the obtainment of justice. We don’t get paid unless you win a settlement, so there is no risk to contact us to learn about a potential claim that can be filed. Give us a call at (866) 722-0250 for more information.
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