Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI)
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are commonly prescribed drugs used to treat heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and stomach ulcers by blocking the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid. Some of the most-sold brands of PPIs include Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium.
PPIs are available by prescription or over the counter. At least 15 million Americans receive PPI prescriptions every year, with the number of patients purchasing the drugs over the counter likely much higher. They are among the top-selling drugs in America. Nexium alone sold more than $4.4 billion in 2014. They are available in tablet or capsule form and are taken orally.
Proton Pump Inhibitors and Kidney Disease
Recent research has linked drugs such as Prilosec and Prevacid to an increased risk of kidney disease and other kidney injuries. The research found that patients who used PPIs were more likely to develop chronic kidney disease over 5 years than patients who used other types of heartburn medication. Other research suggests that the drugs may be responsible for prematurely aging blood cells, causing them to break down and clog the kidneys.
PPI manufacturers have reportedly known about the potential increased risked of kidney disease associated with their drugs. In December 2014, manufacturers were told to put kidney disease warnings on the labels of drugs such as Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium.
News of PPI kidney disease has led some doctors to speak out against the widespread use of PPIs and urge patients to consult doctors before taking the drugs. Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium are not appropriate for minor heartburn, according to some doctors. Other PPI side effects include nutrient deficiency, bone density loss and heart attacks.
If you believe that you or someone you care about may be suffering from chronic kidney disease caused by Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, or any other PPI, you are not alone. Sometimes, individuals do not know the side effects to watch for when it comes to these kinds of ailments, so we have listed some common symptoms that may indicate kidney disease. These symptoms include:
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Dry, itchy skin
- Swollen ankles
- Swollen feet
- Unusual puffiness around the eyes, especially after waking
- Frequent urination, especially at night
If you have taken a PPI and are experiencing these symptoms, it is a good idea to consult a doctor right away, and it is wise to contact an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options. While drug manufacturers have enriched themselves through mass marketing their products to consumers and physicians alike, you do have the power to hold them accountable. Let us handle your case while you attend to the most important matter at hand: your health.