A class of widely prescribed and over-the-counter drugs known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) is making news recently for all the wrong reasons; namely, the purported links of PPI drugs to kidney damage.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are the most widely used drugs in the U.S., with more than $13 billion in sales in 2015. PPIs include such well-known brand names as Nexium, Prilosec, Previcaid, Dexilant, Protonix and Aciphex. These drugs are available over the counter or by prescription and are marketed to treat heartburn, indigestion, gastritis and acid reflux.
PPIs reduce the production of acid by blocking the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid. Acid is necessary for the formation of most ulcers in the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, and the reduction of acid with PPIs prevent ulcers and allows any ulcers that exist in the esophagus, stomach and duodenum to heal.
CNN recently reported on a newly published study which concludes that PPI users have a 96% increased risk of developing end-stage renal failure, and a 28% increased risk of developing chronic renal failure compared to people taking alternative reflux medications.
Numerous other studies have found that PPIs have a statistically significant association with kidney damage, with odds ratios between 1.5 and 3.0, depending on the precise injury.
Medical literature reveals that reports of kidney damage dates back to the 1990s. However, the first time that any warning regarding potential kidney injury appears on product labels was December 2014—and that warning was limited to acute interstitial nephritis.
Symptoms of kidney disease include fever, blood in the urine, nausea or vomiting, weight gain, and skin rash. Regular users of proton pump inhibitors for heartburn should be aware that these symptoms may indicate renal failure caused by use of their acid reflux medication.
PPI users who suffered (1) acute interstitial nephritis, (2) acute kidney disease/failure, (3) chronic kidney disease/failure, or (4) transplant, dialysis or death all may have viable claims. If you or a loved one suffered kidney disease or renal failure as a result of taking a PPI for heartburn, indigestion, gastritis or acid reflux, you need to seek immediate legal advice. Contact the Ohio personal injury attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members.