Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are mainly used for acid reflux and heartburn and have found over the years that they are associated with some serious complications. PPI complications are serious and can range from broken bones to kidney disease. Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid manufacturers face nearly 4,500 lawsuits against proton pump inhibitors, all of which are due to complications from medication.
What are proton pump inhibitors and what do they treat?
Proton pump inhibitors are a group of medicines that have a primary purpose. This purpose is the long-lasting reduction in stomach acid.
Proton pump inhibitors can either be bought over the counter or are prescribed for some problems. The over-the-counter use of PPI is generally heartburn. When it comes to recipes, they have a lot more uses.
Prescription proton pump inhibitors are commonly used to treat acid reflux, ulcer disease, erosive esophagitis, duodenal ulcer, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
The initial introduction of proton pump inhibitors took place in the late 1980s and was released under the general brand "Losec". This was the brand name of Omeprazol and was later renamed "Prilosec".
It wasn't until 1995 that we received a second approval, Prevacid, and since then several other brands have been launched, including Nexium.
Since its inception, the antacid market has grown exponentially, bringing in about $ 14 billion a year to manufacturers. The three leading companies Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium generate between USD 3 and 6 billion a year for their manufacturers Takeda and AstraZeneca.
When first approved, all medications had side effects such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headache, stomach pain, and dizziness, but thousands of patients have had far worse experiences since their introduction.
Many of the people who have experienced serious complications and side effects have now filed suits against Takeda and AstraZeneca. These lawsuits concern injuries caused by the drugs Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec. More than 4,000 lawsuits are pending before federal courts, and many more are believed to exist before state courts.
Proton pump inhibitor hazards
While Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid are usually touted as safe and effective treatments compared to other antacids, millions have been used to treat heartburn, reflux and stomach problems.
In 2010, concerns were raised based on the results of two independent studies. The studies had shown concern about the use of proton pump inhibitors and the increased risk of wrist, hip, and spine fractures.
Based on the results of this study, the FDA concluded that there was a specific high risk in patients who received higher doses over a long period of time. Numerous studies have been conducted since then, and they have confirmed that the use of PPIs can increase the risk of a number of medical problems, including:
- Broken bone
- Acute kidney injury
- Low magnesium level
- Heart attack
A recent study from 2016 successfully showed that proton pump inhibitor users are up to 50% more likely to suffer chronic kidney damage. Other studies have shown that users have a 21% increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and an increased risk of stomach cancer.
Independent researchers and medical studies have been able to jointly investigate the potential for sudden or early death due to the use of proton pump inhibitors. In a comparative study with other antacid drugs, the 5-year mortality rate of users of proton pump inhibitors can be increased by up to 50%. This increase is generally related to the medical complications caused by medication.
Proton pump inhibitors & kidney diseases
While every drug must have side effects, proton pump inhibitors pose a significant risk that can be life-changing. There are more and more studies every day that link drugs such as Nexium and Prilosec to an increased risk of chronic kidney disease.
There was a time when the evidence linking proton pump inhibitors and kidney disease was lacking, to say the least. The studies showed a link between proton pump inhibitors and kidney problems such as interstitial nephritis. However, the studies fell by the wayside when it came to linking the drug to chronic kidney disease.
However, recent studies have found that using proton pump inhibitors can be associated with chronic kidney disease. In fact, the risk increased by almost 50%.
There are several symptoms associated with chronic kidney disease. So if you are taking proton pump inhibitors and you experience any of the following symptoms, you should speak to your doctor immediately:
- sleep disorders
- Itchy and dry skin
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Swelling of the ankles and feet
- Increased urge to urinate
- Muscle cramps.
Of course, there are numerous symptoms to consider, and these are just a few. There are several factors that determine the risk that proton pump inhibitors present to your body.
You should consider how long you have been taking the medication and what dosage you are taking. If you are a patient who has been taking high dose proton pump inhibitors for many years, there is a higher risk than most patients.
You should also consider the brand of the proton pump inhibitor. For example, taking Nexium, Prevacid, or Prilosec may also increase your risk of breaking the bones mentioned above. These drugs are also known for their risk of presentation in benign polyps and abnormal tissue growth in the stomach. Although these growths are not dangerous, they can be very annoying.
Liability and negligence of proton pump inhibitors
The manufacturers AstraZeneca and Takeda, who are responsible for Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid, are facing thousands of lawsuits as a result of injuries and complications caused by their medication.
The allegation states that the drugs have not been properly tested and that the patients and healthcare professionals have not been adequately warned.
While proton pump inhibitors were originally introduced with the intention of treating gastric or gastric ulcers, which are mainly diagnosed via cultures or imaging, later in the test phase, approval was granted for the treatment of GERD, which is confirmed only by confirmed symptoms.
In addition to the approved uses, a large number of medical professionals have prescribed proton pump inhibitors for a variety of gastric complaints and for a longer period than tested.
Because of their popularity, Prevacid, Nexium, and Prilosec were the best-selling drugs, generating billions a year.
When prescription levels were threatened by the expiration of a patent or competition for medication, both Takeda and AstraZeneca applied to sell their medication over the counter. The introduction of a drug for OTC use can have serious consequences, since the safety aspect is eliminated and the patient may be treated excessively with medication and take it longer than necessary.
Both Takeda and AstraZeneca were accused of using marketing tactics that were considered aggressive. The aggressive marketing tactic has been used by both consumers and the general public. In essence, both companies effectively put profits over security.
PPI lawsuits and settlements
In 2015, AstraZeneca was involved in a class action lawsuit that they had settled. The lawsuit concerned both Nexium and Prilosec. The lawsuits alleged that AstraZeneca had only decided to launch Nexium after the Prilosec patent had expired.
The two drugs are chemically almost identical, but Nexium has been heavily advertised as an improved drug over Prilosec. In reality it was very similar, only much more expensive. AstraZeneca has been charged with aggressive and misleading marketing so that its products have a high profit margin.
The lawsuit ended when AstraZeneca agreed to pay participants $ 20 million.
Lawsuit for medical liability for proton pump inhibitors
In May 2018, it was confirmed that 4,200 lawsuits against the two manufacturers were pending. All federal lawsuits against AstraZeneca and Takeda have been successfully consolidated in an MDL at the US District Court for the New Jersey District. MDL consolidation enables a significant number of cases to join a group where the defendant and the plaintiff's attorney can process multiple lawsuits at the same time.
MDL also allows Bellwether experiments to be performed in fewer cases. In this way you can determine the result of the remaining tests. In most cases, a high dollar award often results in other group members being offered manufacturing settlements.
If you have been taking proton pump inhibitors for a long time and are experiencing the symptoms mentioned in this post, you may be able to file a PPI lawsuit.