Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) decrease the production of stomach acid that is responsible for the development of ulcers in the stomach, duodenum and esophagus. However, this grouping of drugs is linked to a variety of risks and side effects, and there is a growing list of lawsuits that have been filed in response to these serious concerns. Many of these lawsuits claim the drug manufacturers knowingly produced and distributed PPIs that caused drastic side effects while failing to caution the public, with the largest claimed side effect being kidney damage. Here, the pharmaceutical liability attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos provide updates on the risks surrounding PPIs as well as recent lawsuits filed against PPI manufacturers.
PPIs Reduce Levels of Stomach Acid Present
PPIs are used to treat and prevent ulcers of the stomach, duodenum and esophagus, ulcers caused by NSAID use, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and other conditions caused by excess stomach acid production, and are one of the most widely used drugs among the U.S. population, with about 15 million users nationwide. PPIs, when combined with antibiotics, can also be used to treat Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that causes ulcers when combined with stomach acid. While each type of PPI differs in how they are broken down in the body, their interactions with other drugs and how long they last, there is little evidence that one PPI is more or less effective than another.
PPIs are Connected to a Variety of Risks
PPIs are associated with a host of side effects including, but not limited to, headaches, abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, nausea, rashes and digestion issues. PPI use is also linked to the increased risk of Clostridium difficile infection of the colon and extended PPI use for one year or longer is linked to a greater risk of developing osteoporosis-related fractures. More serious side effects that should be noted when taking PPIs include life-threatening allergic reactions, pancreatitis, toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and reduced kidney function.
PPIs are Involved in over 5,000 Lawsuits
Due to the considerable list of adverse effects related to PPI use, there are 2,630 lawsuits pending in federal court as of December 2018, which is out of a total of 5,203 lawsuits that have been filed, and the numbers are expected to continue to increase. A majority of these lawsuits name Nexium and Prilosec, which are two of the most commonly used PPIs manufactured by AstraZeneca, and most of the lawsuits were filed on the grounds of alleged kidney damage. Specifically, a majority of the lawsuits claim kidney disease, kidney failure, kidney injury or acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) as the types of kidney damage sustained as a result of PPI use.
A judicial panel merged the thousands of cases filed against major PPI manufacturing companies into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in August 2017. Other manufacturers named in litigation include Prilosec OTC, Prevacid and Protonix, and the first bellwether trial is scheduled for September 21st, 2020.
Discuss Your Rights with a Pharmaceutical Liability Attorney at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos
PPIs are associated with a significant number of serious side effects and risks, including kidney damage and pancreatitis, and because these drugs are so commonly prescribed and used, the potential danger to the American public is enormous. There are currently thousands of lawsuits filed against PPI manufacturers, and the pharmaceutical liability attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos can provide legal representation to those who have developed life-altering medical conditions as a result of PPI use. If you have ever been prescribed PPIs and subsequently experienced damaging side effects as a result of taking PPIs, do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Peter Angelos now.