Proton Pump Inhibitors Lawsuit

If you or a loved one regularly took PPIs such as Nexium, Prevacid or Prilosec and suffered a kidney-related injury, you may be eligible to file a PPI lawsuit. You might be entitled to compensation.

Medications such as Nexium, Protonix, Prilosec and Prevacid are in a group of drugs called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI), which aim to reduce the amount of acid in a person’s stomach. These medications are used to treat conditions such as frequent heartburn, stomach ulcers, acid reflex, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), esophagitis and other conditions arising from an over-production of stomach acid. Available by prescription and over-the-counter, PPIs are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. However, long-term use of PPIs has been linked to serious injuries including acute interstitial nephritis, chronic kidney disease, kidney failure and other serious, debilitating effects which may result in hospitalization or even death.

The manufacturers of certain PPI drugs may have hidden certain risks associated with their popular heartburn medications. Pharmaceutical companies are required to perform clinical safety tests and provide adequate warnings of potential risks before placing their products on the market. If a patient or doctor does not know the possible adverse effects associated with a drug, they don’t have the ability to make an informed decision regarding treatment options or choosing a different form of treatment to protect oneself from injury or illness. Drug companies should be held liable for failing to adequately warn patients about the harmful effects of using their drugs.

At FrancoLaw, we have the experience and resources to stand up against large drug manufacturers and hold them accountable for the harm they have caused. We will be your advocate and fight by your side for the justice and compensation you deserve. For a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your injury and determine the available legal options, call FrancoLaw today at (888) 213-0761.

What Is a Proton Pump Inhibitor?

A proton pump inhibitor reduces and blocks stomach acid production. These drugs work on the cells in the stomach lining by blocking certain enzymes from producing acid. By inhibiting the production of these stomach acid enzymes, the drugs allow ulcers and irritations to heal unhindered.

Common brand-name PPI medications include:

  • Prevacid® and Prevacid® 24HR
  • Prilosec® and Prilosec® OTC
  • Nexium® and Nexium® 24HR
  • Dexilant
  • Protonix®

In addition to the brand names, PPIs are also known by the generic names lansoprazole, omeprazole, esomeprazole, rabeprazole, and pantoprazole.

Common Complications Associated with Proton Pump Inhibitors

There are side effects associated with PPIs. Some of the most common side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Joint Pain
  • Fever
  • Stomach pain

In recent years, researchers have discovered additional risks associated with long-term use of PPIs. The most severe PPI complications include:

  • Acute kidney injury
  • Kidney failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Reduced bone density, leading to fractures
  • Heart disease and heart attack
  • Impaired liver function
  • Vitamin B deficiency
  • Pneumonia
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Gastric and esophageal cancer
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • PPI-induced acute interstitial nephritis

PPI-Induced Acute Interstitial Nephritis

PPI-Induced acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) is a condition where the spaces between the tubules of the kidney cells become inflamed. The injury appears to be more profound in people older than 60. While individuals who suffer from AIN can recover, most will experience some level of permanent kidney function loss. In rare cases, people with PPI-induced AIN will require a kidney transplant. AIN can be acute (sudden) or chronic (long-term).

In 2004, a study published in the journal Nephrology, Dialysis, and Transplantation concluded that Prilosec (omeprazole) and Prevacid (lansoprazole) were most commonly associated with interstitial nephritis.

Symptoms of PPI-Induced AIN

The most common symptom of interstitial nephritis is a decrease in the amount a person urinates. In some cases, urine output may increase, and some patients experience no symptoms at all. Other signs of PPI-induced AIN include:

  • Fever
  • Blood in the urine
  • Exhaustion
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Water retention
  • Swelling
  • Elevated blood pressure

PPIs and Kidney Disease

In 2017, a study published in the journal Kidney International found that people who used proton pump inhibitors were more likely to develop chronic kidney disease (CKD) even if they haven’t suffered acute kidney injury (AKI) previously. According to the study, PPI users had a 26% increased risk of CKD than users of another common class of acid-reducing medications known as H2 blockers.

Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that PPI users were also more likely to suffer from CKD than people who did not use PPIs. Researchers also noted that many PPI users were taking the drugs for no clear reason, often remote symptoms of dyspepsia or heartburn that have since resolved. In these patients, PPIs should be stopped to determine if symptomatic treatment is needed.

In a study published in BMC Nephrology in August 2016, researchers concluded that proton pump inhibitors were associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease and death..

Kidney Disease is one of the main injuries being attributed to PPIs.

PPIs and Other Complications

Proton pump inhibitors have recently been linked to a higher risk for heart attack, cognitive problems and gastric cancer.

According to a 2015 study of three million people conducted by Stanford and the Houston Methodist Research Institute, there was a 15 percent higher risk of heart attack among PPI users. PPIs are also associated with a 44 percent increase in the risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia over seven years, according to a study of more than 70,000 people aged 75 and older that was published in 2015 in JAMA Neurology.

A study published in the British medical journal The BMJ investigating the death rates among PPI users found that people who used the drug were at an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and upper gastrointestinal cancer. The study focused on 157,000 veterans who were prescribed PPIs for the first time and followed them for 10 years. The study found the longer the PPI use, the greater the risk of death.

Research studies have also connected PPI usage to adverse events like bone fractures and hypomagnesemia.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Litigation

The litigation – which includes more than 13,000 active cases – involves claims that the drug manufacturers AstraZeneca, Takeda, Pfizer and others failed to adequately warn patients of the potential risks of kidney injuries associated with long-term of their PPI drugs. These lawsuits claim the drug manufacturers were aware of the kidney risks of PPIs for at least a decade before notifying the public.

The litigation is pending before Judge Claire Cecchi in federal court in New Jersey. Judge Cecchi is presiding over the coordination of all discovery and pretrial proceedings. In February 2021, the court approved the selection of six test cases known as bellwether cases, with the first bellwether trial scheduled for January 2022 and additional trials to follow.

PPI injuries named in lawsuits include:

  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  • Acute Kidney Injury
  • Kidney Failure or End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
  • Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN)

PPI makers named in the litigation include:

  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • The Proctor & Gamble Company
  • Abbott Laboratories

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one regularly took PPIs such as Nexium, Prevacid or Prilosec and suffered a kidney-related injury, you may qualify to file a PPI lawsuit. You can discuss your case with us during a free consultation and receive the legal advice you need to make an informed decision about what to do next. Let us fight for you to hold the drug manufacturer accountable for your injuries and recover the compensation you deserve. Our firm is experienced in handling defective drug cases and we welcome any questions you may have. Call us now at (888) 213-0761 for a free consultation.