A number of studies have indicated that long-term use of Nexium and similar heartburn drugs might harm the kidneys. Now new research suggests that chronic kidney disease associated with proton pump inhibitors can come on gradually, meaning many patients won’t experience any acute renal symptoms before the disease has progressed.
The authors of the study analyzed data from the Department of Veterans Affairs databases on 125,596 new proton pump inhibitor patients and 18,436 new users of H2 blockers. During the five-year follow-up period, more than 80% of those in the proton pump inhibitor group did not develop acute kidney problems. Yet more than half of the cases of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease associated with proton pump inhibitor use occurred among those patients.
By contrast, only 7.67% of those taking H2 blockers developed chronic kidney disease in the absence of acute kidney problems, while just 1.27% developed end-stage renal disease.
“Doctors must pay careful attention to kidney function in their patients who use PPIs, even when there are no signs of problems,” the study’s lead author said in a statement announcing its findings. “In general, we always advise clinicians to evaluate whether PPI use is medically necessary in the first place because the drugs carry significant risks, including a deterioration of kidney function.”
According to RXInjuryHelp.com, a growing number of lawsuits have been filed in recent months on behalf of individuals who allegedly developed serious kidney problems due to their use of Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors. Plaintiffs claim that the drug’s manufacturers concealed reports linking the medications to chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, acute kidney injury and other renal complications, and allege that patients and doctors were not adequately warned about these risks.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) declined to grant a plaintiffs’ motion seeking centralization of the federal proton pump inhibitor docket in a single U.S. District Court. Among other things, the Panel found that there were not enough cases pending to warrant the creation of a multidistrict litigation. They also voiced concern that inclusion of competing drug makers and multiple over-the-counter and prescription medications would complicate case management. At some point in the future, plaintiffs may petition for centralization again, especially if the number of lawsuits continues to grow. They could also seek separate multidistrict litigations for each of the medications involved in the litigation.
You may be entitled to file your own proton pump inhibitor lawsuit if you or a loved one developed kidney problems flowing long-term use of Nexium, Prilosec or PrevAcid. To discuss your case with an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP, please call (888) 994-8177.