If you or a loved one have taken the heartburn drugs Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid and have experienced kidney problems, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses. We are currently working with experienced heartburn drug lawyers around the country, who can file a heartburn drug lawsuit on your behalf and there is no fee until you receive a settlement or award. Contact us for a free (no obligation) case evaluation online or toll free at 1-800-992-6878.
What’s the Problem?
Watch the NBC Nightly News Report on the link to Chronic Kidney Disease
NBC Nightly News | Feb 8, 2016
Are There Heartburn Drug Lawsuits?
Many lawsuits have been filed against heartburn drug medication manufacturers claiming that the manufacturers may have recognized the increased risk in using their drugs, but did not properly warn patients and their doctors about such risk.
In recent news, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (maker of Nexium and Prilosec). In 2015, two lawsuits were settled. The first consisted of a decade-long lawsuit that was settled in favor of the victim for $20 million. The same month, the U.S. Justice Department also stated AstraZeneca would compensate another victim $7.9 million.
Medical Studies about Heartburn Drugs’ Side Effects
- March, 2009: Heartburn medications use may produce a “rebound” acid effect, likening the condition to “dependency” on the medications.
- June, 2015: In addition to the recently confirmed risk of kidney failure, the medical journal, PLOS One, reported the results of two studies which showed that heartburn medications use may cause an increased risk of heart attack by as much as 21%.
- October, 2015: A study involved more than 24,000 patients who developed chronic kidney disease between 2001 and 2008. One out of four of the kidney patients had been treated using heartburn medication previously. Those taking heartburn medications also had nearly twice the risk of dying prematurely, the researchers found.
- February, 2016: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that the 10-year risk of chronic kidney disease in Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid users was 20-50% greater than those who had not taken the medications. The study also showed that the longer a person takes the medications, the greater the risk and patients who took the medications more than once a day were more likely to develop the condition.
- April, 2016: The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology has published a study linking the use of heartburn medications with a 96% increased risk of kidney failure and a 26% increased risk of chronic kidney disease.
What are Common Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid Side Effects?
- Headache, joint aches, muscle pain
- Stomach complaints such as pain, nausea and diarrhea
- Unpleasant aftertaste
- Rash or other skin disruption
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
What are More Serious Complications Caused by Heartburn Drugs?
- Acute Interstitial Nephritis: Studies show that heartburn medications increase the risk of acute interstitial nephritis, which involves irritation and inflammation of the kidneys, which could lead to chronic and long-term injury if the drug is not discontinued.
- Acute Kidney Injury: Acute kidney injury includes the sudden loss of kidney function, which may arise after taking a heartburn medication. Despite the fact that several users will regain typical kidney function, roughly 10% of patients with acute kidney failure may be permanently effected, causing end-stage kidney failure and further complications.
- Chronic Kidney Disease: Chronic kidney disease from heartburn medications may cause bodily wastes to accumulate to high levels in the blood, which could ultimately lead to kidney failure, the requirement of life-long dialysis treatments or a necessary kidney transplant operation.
The Dangers of Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid
Dr. Oz: You know the names: Prilosec, Prevacid and, of course, the little purple pill Nexium. But now there are growing concerns that billions of people are taking these medicines needlessly—triggering dangerous side effects.”
The New York Times: Doctor Shoshana J. Herzig of Harvard Medical School was stated as saying “Certain people with conditions like Barrett’s esophagus should be on long-term acid suppression, but the majority of people with heartburn and reflux should not be on these drugs long-term.”
Fox News: Dr. David Juurlink, a clinical pharmacologist and drug safety researcher at the University of Toronto, said “Patients should appreciate that, like all drugs, heartburn medications carry risk. The fact that they’re available over the counter doesn’t mean they’re safe,” Juurlink said. “People who take heartburn medications and are later found to have kidney problems should ask their physicians whether the drugs might be playing a role,” he advised.
What is Being Done by the FDA?
- In 2010, the FDA distributed a consumer warning concerning the use of Heartburn medications. The warning detailed that the medication Prilosec may cause a heightened risk of bone fracture.
- In 2011, a notice was issued by the FDA about heartburn medication-induced hypomagnesemia, or deficiency of magnesium in the blood, after long term use of the medications. Low magnesium levels can result in neural and muscular effects, including seizure and heart complications.
- In late 2014, the FDA announced new heartburn medications warnings would be added to the medications bottle and packaging, including first-time information that the drugs may cause acute interstitial nephritis, which may have caused many individuals suffering from this kidney complication to continue using the drugs, since doctors were previously unaware of the connection.
Has the FDA Recalled Heartburn Drugs?
As of this time, there has not been a recall of heartburn medications in regards to the side effect of kidney damage. However, the investigations into these drugs, from a legal perspective, are still at the early phases. It could take many years, tens of thousands of hours of a lawyer’s time and the expense of many millions of dollars before all the details come out that will lead to a recall.
Why Contact Us?
If you or someone you know has suffered kidney complications or other side effects as a result of taking heartburn medications, you may be entitled to compensation. Our law firm is currently working with some of the more experienced heartburn drug lawyers in the country who are handling these cases and charge no legal fees unless you receive a settlement or award. Please contact our toll free number 24/7 at 1-800-992-6878, or fill out a contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.