The Nexium and Prilosec lawsuits claim the manufacturers of these drugs failed to warn patients and physicians of the increased risks of kidney and renal failure.
Our law firm is accepting clients who took Nexium or Prilosec and suffered kidney damage. We have been handling claims against pharmaceutical companies since 1955, and we are listed in Best Lawyers in America and The National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame.
Why Are Nexium & Prilosec Lawsuits Being Filed
Hundreds of claims have been filed against the manufacturers of Nexium and Prilosec by individuals who have suffered injuries as a result of taking the drugs. The lawsuits are presently combined before a federal judge in New Jersey where all of the national discovery and evidence gathering is taking place.
The manufacturers of Nexium and Prilosec failed to warn doctors and patients that use of the drugs could cause kidney and renal failure, including interstitial nephritis.
In the court filings, lawyers argue the following:
- Nexium and Prilosec are defective and unreasonably dangerous.
- The manufacturers were negligent in the production of the drug.
- The companies failed to properly test the medication, and failed to warn doctors and patients of certain risks.
- The companies concealed evidence of the dangers from the government and the public, and misrepresented the safety of the drug in its marketing material.
Nexium and Prilosec Injuries & Side Effects
The most serious potential side effects and risks caused through the use of Nexium & Prilosec are strokes, bone fractures, kidney disease, renal failure, and heart damage.
People who take multiple daily doses for a long period of time (a year or longer), especially those 50 years of age or older, have an increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine. Additionally, people who use the drugs appear to have a 20-50% higher risk of chronic kidney disease compared with nonusers, and a 20-30% increased risk for stroke.
It’s very important to tell your doctor if you experience any of the following problems: (i) kidney disease; (ii) osteoporosis; (iii) low bone mineral density (osteopenia); (iv) numbness in the face, arm or leg; (v) confusion or trouble speaking; (vi) loss of vision; (vii) dizziness; (viii) difficulty walking; (ix) severe headache; or (x) low levels of magnesium in your blood.
Gastric tumors, bone fractures and anemia
Nexium and Prilosec do more than just reduce gastric acid, they also reduce the secretion of several other substances produced by stomach cells. Those substances are required for proper absorption of many important nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, calcium and magnesium.
Malabsorption is especially dangerous in frail and dangerous subjects, as it may lead to many nutritional deficiencies. Long-term use of PPIs has been associated with iron deficiency anemia, hypomagnesemia and pernicious anemia. The use of PPIs for extend periods may also reduce bone strength, increasing the risk of hip, spine and wrist fractures.
PPIs also indirectly increase the production of other substances such as gastrin in vast excess. Hypergastrinemia has been associated with an increased risk of gastric tumors as well as with other cancer malignancies in patients affected by GERD.
Cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks
According to a large clinical study called PLOS ONE, the use of Nexium and other PPIs has been associated with an estimated increase in heart attack risk of 16-21%. These drugs can reduce the production of a substance that protects blood vessels. The internal lining of the vessels is then damaged, increasing the formation of dangerous blood clots and other cardiovascular diseases.
Chronic kidney disease
PPIs are linked with a 20 to 50 percent higher risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), as demonstrated by a large study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal. The risk is higher in patients who took higher doses of these medications. CKD causes a gradual loss of kidney function that may also lead to renal failure.
An ischemic stroke occurs when the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain is reduced, causing the brain cells and tissue to die. PPIs are linked to a 20-30% increased risk of strokes depending upon the dosage the person is taking per day.
Pneumonia, diarrhea and systemic infections
A proper gastric acid secretion is critical to our health. PPIs reduce acid secretion by up to 99% which is much more than is usually required by most patients, especially if these drugs are taken for extended periods of time.
Hydrochloric acid is, in fact, a barrier to sterilize the food we eat, killing most microbes such as bacteria and viruses. Without stomach acid, patients are at a greater risk of serious infections including Clostridium difficile enteritis, diarrhea and pneumonia.
Risk of Dementia
A study published in the journal JAMA Neurology showed that regular use of these medications was linked with a 50 percent increased risk of dementia in elderly patients. Researchers analyzed data from about 74,000 patients over a period of 7 years, and explained that in those countries where PPIs are available as OTC medications (such as the United States), the risk may be even higher.
Attorney Mike Papantonio Discusses the Nexium and Prilosec Lawsuits and the Link to Kidney Damage
What Type of Compensation Can I Recover in a Nexium & Prilosec Claim
As of January 2018, more than 300 cases were pending in federal court against the manufacturers of Prilosec and Nexium by individuals who claim to have experienced various injuries because of the drug. The cases are being heard by Judge Claire C. Cecchi with the District Court in New Jersey.
We are representing individuals who have suffered kidney or renal injuries as a result of using Nexium or Prilosec. If you have experienced these injuries, then we will be seeking the following damages for you:
- Past and future medical expenses that result from your injuries.
- Past and future pain and suffering (physical and mental) caused by the injuries, and the treatment and recovery process.
- Past and future wage loss.
- Past and future loss of earning capacity.
- Past and future loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages, if appropriate.
Nexium & Prilosec Settlements
As of this time, there have been no large group settlements involving Nexium or Prilosec and the potential link to kidney injuries. Generally, however, large groups of settlements do not occur until such time as a few cases are tried before a jury, and the manufacturer is able to more thoroughly understand its financial risk.
In 2016, AstraZeneca paid the United States Department of Justice a $7.9 million penalty for engaging in a kickback scheme involving the sale of Nexium and Prilosec.
In 2015, AstraZeneca settled a national class action involving deceptive marketing of Nexium for the sum of $20 million.
In 2003, AstraZeneca faced allegations by the European Commission that the company provided false and misleading information in order to protect its patent on Losec (sold in the U.S. as Prilosec). After a two-year investigation, the Commission ordered AstraZeneca to pay a fine of €53 million (approximately $67.5 million USD).
What is the Purpose of Nexium & Prilosec
Nexium & Prilosec are drugs called proton pump inhibitors. They are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, by reducing the amount of acid in a person’s stomach. They also may be prescribed to heal acid-related damage to the lining of the esophagus; to reduce stomach ulcers; to treat stomach infections; and to lessen heartburn and acid indigestion.
Approximately 15 million Americans use proton pump inhibitors. However, as many as 25% of long-term users could stop taking the medication without suffering increased heartburn or acid reflux, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
Are Nexium and Prilosec the Same Drug
Esomeprazole (Nexium) is a “mirror drug”, meaning that is extremely similar to omeprazole (Prilosec), just like the left hand is the “mirror image” of the right hand. Technically they could be safely considered as the same drug. Shortly after Prilosec’s patent ended, however, AstraZeneca obtained FDA’s approval to market Nexium as a new drug just before the market was flooded with generic medications.
Many speculated that the pharmaceutical giant manufactured the new medication in order to maintain their revenues, since in the early 2000s Prilosec was the top-selling prescription medicine in the U.S., with yearly sales of $4.1 billion.
Esomeprazole and the other PPIs are among the most overprescribed medications in the entire world, and they’re also grossly overpriced, especially in the United States. According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, generic omeprazole is sold at about $1 per single dose, while esomeprazole’s price is usually 7 to 15 times higher.
Dr. Marcia Angell, the former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, accused AstraZeneca of distorting the results of the studies that allegedly demonstrated esomeprazole’s superiority over omeprazole to artificially overcharge the American consumers.
Nexium & Prilosec Lawsuit News
"With research showing that anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of PPI users don’t need the drugs at all, Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman points a finger at gastroesophageal reflux disease as being a driving force behind PPI overuse. . . . Eventually, nephrologist and researcher Dr. Morgan Grams of Johns Hopkins, says she started to notice that most of her patients who had come in with chronic kidney disease had been using PPIs." Reported in ABC10 - Nexium Prilosec Health IssuesPopular heartburn medication may increase ischemic stroke risk:
A popular group of antacids known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, used to reduce stomach acid and treat heartburn may increase the risk of ischemic stroke, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2016. Reported in EurekAlert - Nexium Prilosec & StrokeNexium and Prilosec Linked to Kidney Damage, Heart Damage and Bone Fractures:
Long-term use of a common type of medication used to treat heartburn, acid reflux, and ulcers may lead to an increased risk of kidney disease and kidney failure, new research shows. The study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, adds to prior research that suggests proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), a group of drugs which reduces gastric acid production, can lead to serious kidney damage. Reported in CBS News - Nexium Prilosec Bone Fractures
People who use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have a 20 percent to 50 percent higher risk of chronic kidney disease compared with nonusers, said lead author Dr. Morgan Grams, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. . . . Use of the prescription heartburn drugs already has been linked to short-term kidney problems such as acute kidney injury and an inflammatory kidney disease called acute interstitial nephritis, Grams said. Newer studies now show a link between the drugs and chronic kidney disease, in which the kidneys lose their ability to filter blood effectively. Over time, chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, forcing someone to undergo regular dialysis and possibly a kidney transplant, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Reported in CBS News - Kidney DiseaseHeartburn Drugs Tied to Higher Kidney Disease Risk:
A common type of heartburn medication called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) seem to be linked with increased risk of chronic kidney disease, two new studies suggest. Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid belong to this class of drugs, which treat heartburn and acid reflux by lowering the amount of acid produced by the stomach. . . . They found that PPI users were up to 50 percent more likely to develop chronic kidney disease than non-PPI users, even after adjusting for differences between the two groups. Reported in WebMD - Heartburn Drug Kidney DiseasePopular Acid Reflux Drugs Are Linked To Kidney Disease Risk:
People who take certain popular medicines for heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux may want to proceed more cautiously, researchers reported Monday. The drugs, known as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), appear to significantly elevate the chances of developing chronic kidney disease, according to a study involving more than 250,000 people. An estimated 15 million Americans use PPIs, which are sold by prescription and over-the-counter under a variety of brand names, including Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid. Reported in NPR - Acid Reflux Drug Kidney RiskPopular heartburn medication linked to chronic kidney disease:
Widely popular heartburn medications that block the secretion of acid into the stomach are associated with higher rates of chronic kidney disease, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins University researchers released Monday. The research raises more questions about commonly used drugs such as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid, which had long been considered effective with few side effects. In June, an unusual data-mining project by Stanford University researchers revealed evidence linking the medications to a greater risk of heart attacks. Previous analyses have linked the medications to bone fractures, gut infections and other health problems. Reported in Washington Post - Chronic Kidney Issues
For additional news stories, click Levin Law Nexium & Prilosec News
FDA and Scientific Studies Regarding Nexium & Prilosec
Proton Pump Inhibitor Use and the Risk of Chronic Kidney DiseaseProton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are among the most commonly used drugs worldwide and have been linked to acute interstitial nephritis. Less is known about the association between PPI use and chronic kidney disease (CKD). . . . Proton pump inhibitor use is associated with a higher risk of incident CKD. Reported in Journal of American Medical Association - PPIs & Kidney Disease
PPIs and kidney disease: from AIN to CKDProton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are commonly prescribed and available over-the-counter, and are taken by millions of patients around the world, often for many months to years. While PPIs have an excellent overall safety profile, concerns have been raised about adverse renal events, specifically their association with acute interstitial nephritis (AIN). While only a small proportion of patients develop AIN from PPIs, these drugs are now a common cause of drug-induced AIN in the developed world due to their widespread and prolonged use. Reported in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology - PPIs Kidney Issues
Overprescribing proton pump inhibitorsProton pump inhibitors are one of the most frequently prescribed classes of drug in the world because they combine a high level of efficacy with low toxicity. Yet studies consistently show that proton pump inhibitors are being overprescribed worldwide in both primary and secondary care. Between 25% and 70% of patients taking these drugs have no appropriate indication. Reported in British Medical Journal
Some heartburn drugs may boost risk of heart attack, study findsA large data-mining study carried out by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine has linked a popular class of heartburn drugs to an elevated risk of heart attack. Reported in Stanford Medical Journal
Low magnesium levels can be associated with long-term use of Proton Pump Inhibitor drugsIn March 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a safety announcement, warning that use of Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors for periods of 12 months or longer may result in low serum magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia), resulting in potentially fatal cardiovascular and nervous system dysfunction. Reported in FDA Safety Communication - PPIs & Hypomagnesemia
Combination Use of Clopidogrel and Proton Pump Inhibitors Increases Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease: A Meta-Analysis.The combination use of clopidogrel and certain types of PPIs (omeprazole, lansoprazole, esomeprazole, pantoprazole) increases the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with coronary artery disease. Reported in Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
FDA Issues Warning on Acid Reflux DrugsIn February 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning of a link between the use of omeprazole (Prilosec) and esomeprazole (Nexium) and an increased risk of infection from clostridium difficile, resulting in serious diarrhea. Reported in MedPage - PPIs & Clostridium Difficile
Nexium & Prilosec Recalls & Warnings
As of this time, there has not been a recall of Nexium or Prilosec related to kidney damage. However, the investigation into these drugs, from a legal standpoint, are still at the early stages. It often takes many years; tens of thousands of hours of attorney time; and the expense of many millions of dollars before all the facts come out that will lead to a recall.