Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs for short, have become one of the most commonly prescribed medications on the market. 2013, the latest year for which we have data available, saw nearly 15 million users alone.
PPIs include commonly known medications like Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid, and are intended to lower the amount of acid produced in the stomach. Prilosec and Nexium alone had billions in sales in the mid-2000s for manufacturer AstraZeneca.
Now, users are learning that PPIs may be linked with long-term kidney injuries.
What are Proton Pump Inhibitors?
PPIs were initially approved by the FDA to treat more severe issues like GERD, peptic or stomach ulcers, and erosive esophagitis. However, by mounting huge marketing campaigns and, more recently, becoming available over the counter, they have essentially become lifestyle drugs.
It’s estimated that up to 70% of PPI prescriptions are written without indication – including for relief of “frequent heartburn.” The FDA, however, never approved PPIs for long term use. Such use has, nonetheless, become commonplace.
What are the Risks of PPIs?
The drugs were previously associated with an increased risk for heart attacks (possibly by as much as 15% to 20%), dementia, and bone fractures. Now, questions are being raised as to whether PPI use can also result in both short-term and chronic kidney injuries. Chronic kidney disease can result in the kidneys losing their ability to filter blood and an eventual need for dialysis or kidney transplant.
One study has indicated that PPI users are 20 to 50 percent more likely to suffer from chronic kidney disease that non-users.
Should I Explore a PPI Lawsuit?
The side effects of commonly used PPIs like Nexium and Prilosec can be life altering, and maybe even deadly. The drug defect lawyers at Lopez McHugh can help you decide if a PPI lawsuit may be right for you. If you or a loved one suffered a serious kidney injury while using a PPI, contact us today to discuss your legal options.
There is no cost to you unless we win.