Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of medication used to treat a number of common abdominal conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach and duodenal ulcers, heartburn and erosive esophagitis. Consumer brand PPIs include Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec. Yet, a recent study, which includes data from nearly 200,000 patients treated through the Department of Veterans Affairs, suggests a roughly 20 percent higher risk of kidney disease in patients who took PPIs, as compared to those who took H2 blockers—a different class of heartburn drugs.
Other Studies Indicate Risks
Previously, Canadian scientists found that of nearly 300,000 people studied, participants who took PPI’s were more than twice as likely to suffer from kidney failure than those who did not. In February 2016, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study that also suggests a link between the use of PPI’s and the increased risk of chronic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease, or renal failure, develops as a result of repeated damage to the kidneys and effects a patient’s inability to filter metabolic products from the blood. This study, in addition to other similar findings, indicated that the greater the frequency and longevity of PPI use, the greater the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
JAMA Neurology also published research in February, which linked the consumption of PPIs like Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec and Aciphex, to a 44% higher incidence of dementia in senior patients. German researchers concluded that out of more than 70,000 participants, those who received proton pump inhibitors “had a significantly increased risk of incident dementia compared with the patients not receiving PPI medication”.
Several product liability lawsuits have been filed against PPI manufacturers claiming that the manufacturers had knowledge of the increased risks of severe side effects, yet continued to market and sell the PPI medications to consumers. Plaintiffs’ attorneys also maintain that PPI manufacturers misrepresented the medications as being safe for consumer use, and that consumers were not properly warned of the risks.
If you or a loved one were prescribed proton pump inhibitor medications, such as Prilosec, Nexium, or Prevacid, and have suffered acute or chronic kidney failure, bone fractures, or Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea, you may be eligible to seek legal redress. Contact the pharmaceutical liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter Angelos to schedule a free consultation to discuss your unique situation.