Case Study Links Nexium to Serious Muscle Disorder

Published on August 2, 2016 by Sandy Liebhard

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A case study published last month in the medical journal Medicine suggests that an intravenous dose of the proton pump inhibitor Nexium may have caused a patient to develop rhabdomyolysis. Over time, this serious muscle disorder can lead to kidney damage, and even renal failure.

According to the report, a 44-year-old South Korean man presented at the emergency room with lower abdominal discomfort that had begun 10 hours earlier. There was no abnormality on an electrocardiogram or in cardiac enzymes, and laboratory findings did not show abnormalities for muscle enzyme.

The patient was administered a single, intravenous dose of Nexium (40 mg). Twelve hours later, he complained of abrupt severe right buttock pain, and an area of tender muscle swelling 8 cm in diameter was seen on his right buttock area. Testing confirmed elevated levels of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase, while the results of a bone scan were compatible with rhabdomyolysis.

Fortunately, the patient improved markedly following treatment that included hydration and urine alkalinization, and he has not shown any signs of recurrence.

“We should keep in mind that single-dose intravenous administration of esomeprazole can induce rhabdomyolysis,” the report concludes.

Rhabdomyolysis is a disorder that causes muscle fibers to break down. When this occurs, the muscles release a protein called myoglobin, which can cause damage to the kidneys. A number of drugs are known to be associated with the onset of rhabdomyolysis. However, this new case report is the first time a proton pump inhibitor has been linked to the condition.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Risks

Millions of people take prescription and over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors every year to control symptoms associated with GERD and other gastric ailments. In addition to Nexium, medications in this class include Prilosec, Protonix, Prevacid, Aciphex, Dexilant and others.

While most people use proton pump inhibitors without issue, they have been linked to a number of serious side effects, including an increased risks of certain bone fractures, magnesium and B12 deficiencies, and a serious kidney disorder called acute interstitial nephritis. Emerging research has also linked the long-term use of Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors to renal failure and kidney disease, as well as dementia and heart problems.

Attorneys Continue to Review Nexium Lawsuits

Bernstein Liebhard LLP continues to evaluate potential legal claims on behalf of individuals who suffered serious complications allegedly related to the use of Nexium or other proton pump inhibitors. To schedule your free legal review, please call (888) 994-8177.

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