Proton Pump Inhibitors May Increase Heart Failure Risk in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease

Published on March 8, 2017 by Laurie Villanueva

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A newly-published study suggests that coronary artery disease (CAD) patients may be more likely to experience heart failure and death if they use heartburn drugs like Nexium, PrevAcid and Prilosec. The research is just the latest to raise concerns about the health impacts potentially associated with long-term proton pump inhibitor use.

Many patients with CAD take heartburn drugs to lessen the gastrointestinal side effects associated with Plavix and aspirin antiplatelet therapy. This study, which was published in PLoS One, looked at 706 CAD patients, 461 of whom were using proton pump inhibitors.  Subjects were followed for three years.

The analysis suggested that those taking proton pump inhibitors had a higher risk of heart failure and death, roughly 14.65 percent versus 5.45 percent.

“In patients with CAD, PPI use is independently associated with an increased incidence of HF and death but not with a high rate of acute ischemic events. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.” study authors wrote.

Proton Pump inhibitors May Also Harm the Kidneys

According to, more than 20 million Americans use proton pump inhibitors every year to relieve symptoms of GERD and other problems associated with excess stomach acid. However, a growing body of research suggests that long-term use of drugs like Nexium can lead to kidney failure, chronic kidney disease and other renal injuries. Even more alarming, a study published just last month in Kidney International reported that chronic kidney disease associated with proton pump inhibitors may initially present without apparent symptoms, leading to potentially irreversible kidney damage.

Over the past year, dozens of individuals have filed proton pump inhibitor lawsuits for kidney injuries allegedly related to treatment with the medications. While plaintiffs had requested that all such federal claims be allowed to undergo coordinated pretrial proceedings in a single U.S. District Court, the petition was denied last month by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.  Among other things, the Panel found that were too few pending cases to warrant the creation of a multidistrict litigation, and suggested that inclusion of competing pharmaceutical companies and multiple drugs would complicate case management.

Despite the ruling against centralization, new proton pump inhibitor lawsuits continue to be filed. There is nothing to stop plaintiffs from seeking centralization again, should the number of cases grow large enough. Alternatively, they may also request separate multidistrict litigations for each of the proton pump inhibitors involved in lawsuits.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is representing individuals who have filed kidney injury lawsuits against proton pump inhibitor manufacturers. To discuss filing your own claim with a member of our legal team, please call (888) 994-8177.

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