The manufacturing company Pfizer, Inc. received approval in 2000 for Protonix, a medication designed to help patients with gastric reflux caused by various health problems including GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease), serious heartburn and in some cases ulcers. Generally, these drugs were considered to be relatively safe for long or short-term use with no dangerous side effects. However, there are numerous studies including that Protonix, pantoprazole (the generic equivalent) and other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are not safe like they were thought to be for over 15 years. Medical research studies released in April of 2016 revealed that Protonix can cause chronic kidney disease (CKD), acute interstitial nephritis, and kidney failure. Kidney failure is fatal, the only treatment is kidney transplant surgery.
If you or a loved one has suffered from serious or life threatening complications after taking pantoprazole, contact a Protonix lawyer to determine if you have a case. Our legal team will explain all of your options, and help you determine whether to participate in a class action lawsuit against Protonix manufacturers or file a lawsuit privately. If you lost a family member because of kidney failure, pneumonia, or clostridium difficile, we may be able to help you file a wrongful death claim against to recover financial damages.
Dangerous Drugs: Undisclosed Side Effects of Protonix
While many patients take PPIs on a short-term basis, those with the most severe gastric problems may be prescribed these drugs for a period of several months, and in some cases, years. Most of us expect that some drugs cause adverse reactions occasionally, and weight the benefits of taking the drug against the potential risk of suffering from side effects. Numerous studies have recently uncovered that long-term use of PPIs like Protonix can cause health problems that are associated with how the drug stops acid from developing in the system.
Minor side effects like constipation; weight loss and diarrhea are fairly common. While they are generally more of a nuisance than anything, these side effects may indicate more serious complications like acute interstitial nephritis, chronic kidney disease, or even kidney failure.
Long Term Use of Protonix Could Be Fatal
Side effects associated with Protonix use over a long period of time are far more serious and can lead to lifelong health problems and in extreme cases, even death. Kidney problems ranging from kidney stones to complete kidney failure have also been reported with use of Pantroprazole. These are very serious problems that could result in the need for lifelong treatment. In extreme cases, complications from Protonix can require a kidney transplant or result in death.
Patients seeking treatment for GERD could never have imagined that they could die from taking Protonix. The weighted risk-benefit analysis just doesn’t make sense for most people. If the public knew how serious the side effects of long term PPI drugs like Protonix were, most would have sought alternative treatment and many people would still be alive.
Protonix and CKD
Protonix is now known to cause CKD in people who have taken it long term. Chronic kidney disease is recurring illness from a damaged kidney. There is no known cure for chronic kidney disease other than replacing the kidney with a donor. Although in some cases CKD can be treated to keep the patient comfortable, kidney function will continue to diminish until it fails.
Kidney Failure and Protonix
Kidney failure from Protonix can occur from some cases of acute interstitial nephritis, chronic kidney disease, and even after kidney transplant surgery. Sometime kidney transplant surgery is unsuccessful because the recipient’s body rejects the organ and their immune system attacks it as though it were a virus. In cases like this, the kidney can fail. Reports of kidney failure caused by Protonix continue to rise as doctors now know that there is a link between the PPI drug and kidney failure.
People have been taking Protonix for decades, so an untold number of victims may very well have died because of complications from Protonix and their families had no idea that their acid reflux drug was the cause. Now that the link between kidney failure and Protonix is known, doctors can properly attribute kidney disease and death caused by PPI drug use.
Kidney Transplant Surgery from Protonix
For people suffering from kidney failure or chronic kidney disease, the only hope for survival is kidney transplant surgery. Having a kidney transplant does not mean that you will survive, however. Sometimes kidney transplant surgery can go wrong and the patient’s body rejects the donated kidney. Many patients who need a kidney transplant do not live long enough to receive the surgery.
Patients sometimes die before having a kidney transplant because they have to be put on a donor list and wait for a match to become available. Other times, patients develop other fatal conditions while in the hospital that they never recover from. Although kidney transplant surgery can save the lives of some Protonix victims, others simply succumb to kidney failure and other diseases.
Death from Protonix
Causes of death from Protonix use include kidney failure, complications from kidney transplant surgery, acute interstitial nephritis, and chronic kidney disease. However, patients who have been treated with PPI drugs like Protonix after surgery are twice as likely to develop pneumonia. Community attained pneumonia (CAT) can be fatal.
Another potentially deadly condition from giving Protonix to a patient after surgery is clostridium difficile, according to the National Institute of Health. This is a very serious infection of the lining of the intestines which can cause death. If the patient is also taking antibiotics (which is highly likely because most doctors administer a pre-emptive dose of antibiotics after surgery) the chances of developing clostridium difficile increases dramatically.
Acute Interstitial Nephritis from Protonix
Medical studies published as early as 2009 indicated that Protonix causes acute interstitial nephritis. However, the FDA did not include the possibility of acute interstitial nephritis in the list of warnings and precautions until 2015. Patients have been taking Protonix for over a decade not knowing that they could suffer from kidney disease as a result. Common symptoms of acute interstitial nephritis include nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.
If you experience any of these side effects along with weight loss or difficulty urinating, contact your doctor right away so that you can express your concern. Your doctor can perform blood and urine tests to check the creatinine levels in your body, these can indicate kidney disease.
Why File a Protonix Lawsuit?
Protonix is one of numerous PPIs on the market today that has only recently been linked to serious health risks. However, in many cases, manufacturers like Pfizer bragged about the safety of these drugs leading more physicians to prescribe them to their patients. Only after these drugs had been on the market for several years did many doctors and physicians learn of the more serious consequences of taking these drugs for long periods of time. Victims of serious injury like CKD, kidney failure or death as a result of Protonix treatment need someone to help them fight back.
The need for Protonix victim advocacy is especially pronounced considering that pharmaceutical companies have made billions of dollars selling potentially dangerous drugs. File a Protonix lawsuit to hold the manufacturer responsible and prevent atrocities like these from happening to others.
Contact a Protonix Attorney Today
Victims suffering serious medical problems after taking PPIs and families who have lost a loved one because of Protonix need to seek legal counsel from an experienced lawyer. Pantroprazole lawsuits require someone with experience in product liability and wrongful death lawsuits who is not afraid to stand up to big pharmaceutical companies. At Baron & Budd, we have more than 30 years of experience fighting for victims of dangerous drugs like Protonix. We look forward to helping you hold the negligent pharmaceutical company responsible for all of your pain and suffering.
While no amount of money will restore your health or bring back a loved one, Baron & Budd may help you recover financially if your Protonix lawsuit is successful. Call our offices today and talk to one of our plaintiff’s attorneys for a confidential case review. We can be reached at 877-629-0481 or complete our contact form to have someone contact you right away.