Omeprazole, more commonly known as Prilosec is a proton pump inhibitor that has been demonstrated to exacerbate kidney conditions that can ultimately lead to kidney failure and the need for kidney transplant surgery. Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid are some of the most commercially known PPI drugs prescribed for ailments like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn or acid reflux. Unfortunately, some of the complications associated with the prolonged use of PPIs are now known to be more serious, and deadlier, than the underlying condition for which they are prescribed.

If you or someone you know is suffering from kidney damage and needs a kidney transplant or has already had a kidney transplant because of PPI drugs, you have many legal options. A PPI lawyer can help you determine if you can file a lawsuit against the drug manufacturers responsible for causing your kidney transplant.

Other Brands of PPIs that Cause Severe Kidney Damage Warranting a Transplant

There are many generic and name brand drugs that have caused kidney damage so extensive that a kidney transplant was necessary. Some of those name brand PPI drugs include Nexium, Prevacid, Zegerid, Protonix, Aciphex and Dexilant. The generic names are different; they include esomeprazole, dexlansoprazole and omeprazole to name a few. Some of these drugs have been approved by the FDA for prescription use since 1988 and others offer over-the-counter options as well.  Unfortunately, all PPIs have the potential to cause severe damage to the kidneys and liver. Some of the symptoms that could indicate PPI related kidney damage include:

  • Difficulty emptying bladder
  • Abdominal pain
  • Urinating more or less often
  • Swelling of the ankles, face, or feet
  • Severe fatigue
  • Dark colored urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Metallic taste in mouth

Any person who notices symptoms of kidney damage or failure while taking Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium or any of the related PPI drugs should immediately contact their physician.  It is not recommended you stop taking these medications without consulting your doctor as they could result in serious, painful heartburn or acid reflux returning immediately and violently.

However, you should consult with your physician about any history of nephrology illnesses, previous diagnoses of kidney injury, your use of PPI drugs, and other risk factors. Your doctor can order blood work to determine whether PPIs injured your kidney, and if the kidney needs to be replaced with a donor kidney. Discuss the benefits and risks of continuing your PPI medication with your doctor before stopping or starting a new medication regimen.

Kidney Transplant From PPI Damage

Many patients who have kidney disease have associated acid reflux problems and therefore are often prescribed PPI. In a five year study conducted by the National Institute of Health, 15% of PPI users were diagnosed with kidney disease. The natural incidence of kidney disease among Americans is .05%, much less than the 15% rate reported by the NIH study. This study also found that patients taking PPIs were twice as likely to develop end-stage kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Without a kidney transplant, kidney failure is fatal. These studies forecast an unwelcome future for patients who have been taking PPI drugs over a long period of time. People who are already suffering from kidney damage before taking these drugs now face uncertain prognoses because PPI manufacturers did not disclose the potentially lethal exacerbation of kidney disease that the drug can cause.

PPI Complications and Side Effects

Kidney failure is generally irreparable and in some cases could lead to organ failure, which in turn leads to death without a transplant. When a patient has been on PPIs for long periods of time, the incidence of serious damage to the kidneys is increased. While no patient should stop taking their medication without first checking with their physician, they should discuss the potential for kidney complications from PPIs with their doctor.

PPI kidney disease can be detected using simple tests in a lab. Blood tests  and urine tests are available that measure urea and creatinine. A urine test called ACR measures the albumin to creatinine ratio in your urine, and can indicate even early stages of kidney disease before symptoms begin. A GFR blood test can also indicate kidney disease. If you suspect you have sustained kidney damage from taking PPIs, call your doctor first to get tested. If you find that you have severe damage and need a kidney transplant because of PPIs, you need to speak with a lawyer.

Attorneys for Kidney Transplant PPI Victims

If you or a loved one has been taking PPIs and also have severe kidney disease you should seek immediate medical advice from someone who understands the risks associated with long-term use. If you have been told you are suffering from end stage kidney failure and need a transplant; or you have lost a loved one due to a complication associated with long-term Prevacid, Nexium or Prilosec use you may wish to speak with a skilled PPI lawyer. Recent studies have shown that manufacturers of these drugs may not have disclosed the full risks associated with PPIs to doctors and patients so they could weigh the risks versus the benefits of these drugs.

Baron & Budd offers a free case evaluation for anyone who has suffered kidney damage and kidney transplant surgery after taking Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid. It doesn’t matter if the PPI drug was prescribed or used as an over-the-counter remedy. No amount of money could ever compensate for losing a loved one to kidney failure or kidney transplant surgery caused by PPIs, but we may be able to hold drug companies accountable for medical bills and funeral costs associated with their loss. Feel free to call us at any time at 866-844-4556.