Popular Heartburn Drugs Linked to Kidney Injuries
Recent studies have linked certain heartburn medications, such as Nexium®, Prilosec®, and Prevacid®, to an increased risk of severe kidney problems – which may be serious enough to require dialysis. Many patients never fully recover or could even die from these injuries.
These drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), may be prescribed by a physician or purchased over-the-counter. Popular brands include:
- Nexium® and Nexium® 24HR (esomeprazole magnesium)*
- Prevacid® and Prevacid® 24HR (lansoprazole)*
- Prilosec® and Prilosec OTC® (omeprazole)*
- Protonix® (pantoprazole sodium)
- AcipHex® (rabeprazole sodium)
- Dexilant™ (dexlansoprazole)
- Vimovo® (esomeprazole magnesium and naproxen)
- Zegerid® and Zegerid OTC® (omeprazole and Sodium bicarbonate)*
* Nexium® 24HR, Prevacid® 24HR, Prilosec OTC®, and Zegerid OTC® are available over-the-counter
PPIs are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world, with more than 15 million Americans using them in 2013 alone. Prescription PPIs are typically used to treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach and small intestine ulcers, and inflammation of the esophagus. Over-the-counter PPIs are generally used to treat frequent heartburn.
Studies Show Significant Increased Risks for Kidney Problems
A study published in The American Medical Association (JAMA) in February 2016 found mounting evidence that PPIs may be damaging to the kidneys, increasing the risk of conditions such as chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury by up to 20-50 percent.
An April 2016 study published in The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology had similar findings, concluding that PPI users have a 28 percent greater risk of developing chronic kidney disease than patients taking another class of heart burn drugs (H2 blockers).
While the latest studies highlight the increased risk for kidney injuries, in recent years, PPIs have also been associated with other health issues, including heart problems, dementia, clostridium difficile colitis (aka C. diff), and bone fractures.
Kidney Problems After Taking a Heartburn Medication?
If you or a loved one has taken any of the medications listed above and developed Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN), Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), Acute Kidney Injury, or Renal/Kidney Failure, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free, confidential legal consultation.
Note: Do not change medications without first consulting your doctor. All brands are trademarks of their respective companies.