Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Lawsuit

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec are some of the most widely prescribed medications in the world. However, they have been linked to kidney disease and also complete kidney failure.

Have you suffered kidney complications while using a PPI?

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Information about the Lawsuit

Lawsuits involving Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPIs) such as Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid allege that manufacturers did not warn either doctors or patients of the potential risks of kidney problems. Plaintiffs allege that if patients had known of those risks, they would have either demanded other types of medication for their stomach problems or had their health monitored for potential kidney issues.

If you or a loved one have experienced kidney disease or kidney failure after taking a PPI, Baron & Budd can help you navigate your legal options.

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*Over-the-counter and prescription.

PPIs are prescribed for a wide range of stomach disorders, including peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease and others. They are designed to block enzymes in the stomach that produce acid and can lead to the development of ulcers. However, they are also prescribed for heartburn. Approximately 15 million Americans take PPIs under a prescription, but many of them are available without a prescription so the actual number of users is very likely much higher.

According to an article that appeared on the CBS News website, researchers are not sure why PPIs could result in kidney damage. One theory is that PPIs reduce the level of magnesium in the body, which could adversely affect the kidneys. Another is that PPIs could result in kidney inflammation, which, over time, could lead to severe problems as more PPIs are taken.

The kidneys serve the function of filtering excess fluids and waste from the blood, which is then eliminated through urine. Chronic kidney disease results in the accumulation of dangerous waste, electrolytes and fluid. Many patients suffering from this problem eventually have to go on dialysis or even have a kidney transplant.

Symptoms include:

  • Back discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Inflammation of the ankles and feet
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Urination changes
  • Vomiting

These extremely popular medications could cause severe damage to the kidneys, according to an article that appeared on the CNN.com website. On April 14, 2016, the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology published a study that revealed people who take PPIs are at a significantly increased risk of kidney failure and kidney disease. A January 2016 study in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) Internal Medicine also showed a link between PPIs and chronic kidney disease.

According to CNN, researchers conducting the JAMA study analyzed more than 10,000 patients’ medical records and found that the ones who took PPIs were anywhere from 20 to 50 percent more likely to develop kidney disease than patients who did not take PPIs. They then looked at nearly 250,000 other records of patients in Pennsylvania hospitals and found a link between PPIs and kidney disease as well.

The article also reported the results of another study that analyzed nearly 175,000 patients who used PPIs and compared data from more than 20,000 others who took histamine H2 receptor blockers, an alternative to PPIs. The study showed that people who took PPIs were 96 percent more likely to develop kidney failure, and 28 percent more likely to develop chronic kidney disease, than those who took histamine H2.

Use of PPIs has also been linked to another serious condition known as acute interstitial nephritis, which also affects the kidneys. This problem occurs when swelling occurs between the kidney tubules, which help to filter waste substances for elimination through urine. Symptoms include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Confusion
  • Exhaustion
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting

Acute interstitial nephritis can lead to permanent kidney damage, requiring dialysis in order to support proper functioning. In some cases it can lead to kidney failure that will require a transplant.