Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at TruLaw and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits Overview

Thousands of people are filing proton pump inhibitor lawsuits against the makers of dangerous heartburn medications.

If you have problems with your kidneys and used Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid, you may be eligible.

The claims state that had the plaintiffs been properly warned of the risks, patients would have used a different medication for their acid-related stomach issues, and had their health closely monitored for potential signs of kidney disease.

Woman with Chronic Kidney Problems after Taking Nexium or Prilosec

There will be a need to consolidate these lawsuits as more and more individuals come forward with injuries.

A request has been made to consolidate the proton pump inhibitor cases before a single U.S. District court for pre-trial proceeding purposes.

A hearing of the arguments by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is scheduled for January 26th.

Table of Contents

What Are Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI’s)?

Proton Pump Inhibitors, better known as heartburn drugs, are designed to help people with heartburn, indigestion, and GERD (acid reflux).

They are the second-largest class of drugs sold in the United States (behind cholesterol regulators) with an estimated 15 million people prescribed PPIs in 2013 alone.

Sales for heartburn medicine were $13.68 billion in 20016 alone with 110 million prescriptions, which includes branded and generic drugs.

According to IMS Health, PPIs were the ninth most commonly prescribed medication in 2015.

Nexium, manufactured by AstraZeneca, has been one of the top-selling drugs in the U.S. with more than $6 billion in sales estimated by IMS Health in 2013.

Prior to Nexium, AstraZeneca saw success with their drug Prilosec, but Prilosec went OTC (over the counter) in the summer of 2003, dropping the price and the profit for AstraZeneca.

Critics have noted that the shortage of Prilosec in 2005 may have been planned.

Nexium was approved in 2001 but started to see an increase in profit around the same time Prilosec was sold over the counter.

Originally, Histamine H2 blockers were developed to stop the action of histamine on gastric H2 receptors, therefore decreasing gastric acidity.

At this time, they were considered a medical breakthrough in the treatment of peptic ulcer disease.

Since then, PPI’s has lessened the demand for this drug.

Who Is Affected By Heartburn?

More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month and more than 15 million Americans experience heartburn daily.

It is expected that these numbers will increase as a result of our aging population since heartburn is more common among the elderly.

Individuals who get heartburn two or more times weekly may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD).

GERD makes stomach acid flow up into the esophagus, which creates a burning.

Nexium and other heartburn medicines are often prescribed for individuals who have been diagnosed with GERD or frequent heartburn although many critics note that changing eating habits and using over-the-counter medicines can be just as effective.

How Do Heartburn Drugs Work?

Heartburn drugs work by decreasing gastric acid production made by glands in the lining of the stomach.

In a more advanced explanation, heartburn drugs are converted to an active inhibitor and then bind covalently to a proton pump that inhibits it, all due to the acidic conditions in the parietal cells.

Heartburn Drugs serve three (3) general purposes:

  1. Relieve symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (acid reflux)
  2. Treat a peptic or stomach ulcer
  3. Treat the harm caused to the lower esophagus due to acid reflux

What Are Some Of The Common Heartburn Drugs?

There are many heartburn drugs sold either by prescription or over the counter (OTC), they are also referred to as stomach acid drugs, acid reflux medicines, and digestive disorder medicines.
Purple Nexium Pills

Nexium Prilosec
Prevacid Aciphex
Protonix Dexilant
Zegerid Kapidex

What Are The Side Effects Of Heartburn Medicines?

Recent journal articles and media attention have been on the links between heartburn medicines such as Nexium and the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

In addition to kidney disease, Nexium and the other heart heartburn medicines have been linked to:

  • A headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Pneumonia
  • C. difficile infections
  • Low levels of magnesium
  • Fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine
  • Dementia
  • Acute Interstitial Nephritis
  • Kidney Failure
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  • Renal Failure
  • Renal Disease
  • End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
  • Other Kidney Diseases

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Linked To Nexium And Other Heartburn Medicines

In February of 2016, JAMA published the results from a study that showed people taking Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors (PPI) on a daily basis may have a 20 to 50% increased risk of chronic kidney disease.

The longer the heartburn medicine was taken, the greater the risk.

According to the study, people who use PPIs twice a day could be up to 46% more likely to develop kidney disease.

The researchers urged those on long-term PPI treatment to have their kidney function routinely monitored.

Chronic Kidney Disease involves a gradual loss of kidney function. CKD can progress to kidney failure, which is fatal unless a patient undergoes dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Did Your Heartburn/Indigestions Medicine Cause Your Kidneys To Fail?

You should look into your legal rights.

New studies are showing evidence of an alarming relationship between use of these medications (known generically as Proton Pump Inhibitors) and kidney problems, including kidney failure requiring dialysis.

This is a serious problem.

The heartburn medicine lawyers at TruLaw and its partners are actively talking to individuals who have experienced side effects from heartburn drugs and are currently considering protecting their legal rights.

To instantly find out if you qualify for a lawsuit and to protect your legal rights fill out our Secure Heartburn Medicine Instant Case Evaluation ℠.

Heartburn Drug Side Effects – A Timeline

In February of 2016, the Journal of American Nephrology published a study called “Proton Pump Inhibitors and Risk of Incident CKD and Progression to ESRD”.

Using the Department of Veteran Affairs national databases, they were able to compile a list of patients to use for the study.

There were approximately 173,321 using a proton pump inhibitor, and 20,270 people assigned to H2 antagonists as a control group.

At the end of the five-year study, only 0.2% of patients developed end-stage kidney failure.

However, the risk of developing it was 96% higher than users of H2 blockers.

Exposure to PPI use played a factor in the risk of developing kidney failure.

If you have been using a PPI for more than 30 days, there is a higher graded risk of renal malfunction.

Overall, results from this study suggested that PPI use is associated with an increased risk of an incident for Chronic Kidney Disease, CKD progression and End-Stage Renal Disease.

Unfortunately, this is not the only study noting these frightening claims.

A study ran by JAMA Internal Medicine titled, “Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities” found similar results.

Between 1996 to 2011, 10,482 participants had baseline visits.

The data was analyzed in 2015 from May to October.

Among the participants, the mean age was 63 and 43.9 percent were male.

Participants who were white, obese and taking antihypertensive medication were most often using PPI’s.

As mentioned before, the results were grave.

JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that proton pump inhibitor use is associated with an increased risk of an incident of chronic kidney disease.

They believe that further research should be done to evaluate if reducing PPI use reduces the incident of CKD.

A 2016 study conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that drugs used to treat heartburn and acid reflux can lead to kidney damage and failure.

The risk of kidney damage from heartburn medications increases the longer people take such medications.

The researchers, who followed patients for five years, concluded that PPI (proton pump inhibitor) use led to chronic kidney disease in 15 percent of PPI users, as compared to 11 percent with H2 blockers.

They also found PPI users to have a 98 percent risk of developing kidney failure, a rate much higher than those who used H2 blockers, although kidney failure occurred in less than one percent of the patients studied.

The researchers advised that people use PPI medications for the shortest time possible.

The March 2016 population-based study from Scotland involved approximately 565,000 adults, 188,323 of which received some form of acid suppression medication. C

ompared with individuals in the community who did not take acid suppression medications such as Nexium and Prilosec, those who did had 1.7-times and 3.70 times increased risks of C. difficile and Campylobacter, respectively.

Among hospitalized patients, those using the medications had 1.4 times and 4.5 times increased risks, respectively.

C. difficile and Campylobacter can cause considerable illness including diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever, blood or pus in stool and weight loss.

Left untreated, these bacterial diseases can be very dangerous.

According to an April 2016 study published in JAMA Neurology, people aged 75 and older who used proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid had a 44% higher risk of dementia.

The study analyzed data from nearly 74,000 patients between 2004 and 2011 and found that PPIs appear to affect levels of amyloid beta and tau, which are proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

PPI use can also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency, which has been associated with cognitive decline.

PPIs like Nexium have been associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction, renal failure, and dementia, according to a study published in the May 10, 2016 edition of the medical journal Circulation Research.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Do I Pick an Nexium or Prilosec Lawyer?

    Sometimes you need a lawyer near you and sometimes its best to hire a lawyer based on the lawyer’s resources and experiences.

    The right lawyer for mass-tort litigations may not be your local lawyer.

    Mass tort cases filed all over the country are often consolidated into a single courtroom in order to move the many lawsuits through the courts in the most effective and efficient way.

    A lawyer experienced with the multidistrict litigation process with the ability to represent clients in all 50 states, is likely to be a good fit for mass tort litigation.

    TruLaw is not afraid to take on the largest drug and medical device companies in the world.

    We work with trusted legal affiliates to make sure that TruLaw clients have the resources and experiences needed to hold big business accountable when they put profits over people.

  • How Can an Heartburn Drug Lawsuit Help?

    Your Heartburn Medicine lawsuit is designed to help you financially recover from injuries that were caused by someone else.

    We hope putting your trust in TruLaw will take away your concern of protecting your legal rights., but it is most important to us that you spend your time recovering physically.

    Your lawsuit should assist in covering your medical bills, the amount of income and benefits that you lost as a result of your injury and, if your injuries are permanent, we will look to recover for your permanent disfigurement.

    In addition, it is always our hope that your lawsuit will help us to remove dangerous drugs, toxins and devices from the market.

    We are not only lawyers, but also safety advocates that believe in getting information out to the public so no more people are injured.

    We hope you will join us in the role as a safety advocate.

  • Is there an Nexium or Prilosec Class Action?

    We often hear injured people refer to their personal injury case as a “class action” because their case was grouped together in a lawsuit with other injured people.

    This is most often NOT the case. Often, individual cases are grouped together so the attorneys and judge can address common procedural issues initially, saving time for the injured parties and the court, but this is very generally referred to as a “mass tort.”

    A Mass tort refers to civil actions involving numerous plaintiffs against one or a few corporate defendants in state or federal court.

    Class actions are mass torts that are generally used on financial losses and multidistrict litigations (MDL) are generally used on personal injury claims, often in product liability cases.

    MDL is a procedural tool used when plaintiffs have incurred injuries from products manufactured by the same defendant(s).

    Even when plaintiffs incur injuries from the same defendant(s), the amount of damages they may recover for those injuries are often substantially different from other plaintiffs included in the same lawsuit.

    It is important to understand that mass tort cases are an effective tool to getting the attention of the large drug and device companies.

    MDLs assist lawyers in determining exactly what the drug and device companies knew about the risks their products caused and whether or not they should have warned consumers.

    Too often, consumers believe that they can file a single lawsuit and get the attention of big drug companies.

    This is very hard to do.

    Technically, MDLs do not happen until a judicial panel transfers individual cases to a single court.

    Depending on when your lawsuit is filed, you may find yourself automatically transferred to the MDL court or you may wait to learn when and if the JPML believes an MDL is the proper venue for the mass tort.

    But, rest assured, even if your case is included in an MDL, TruLaw lawyers will treat your injuries, your medical history and your financial needs separately.

    We are aware that not all cases are the same.

  • Has There Been an Nexium or Prilosec Settlement?

    We understand the frustration in waiting to hear about settlements in product liability lawsuits.

    Unfortunately, in drug and device cases, we have no choice but to sue some of the most profitable companies in the world.

    Big Pharma has deep pockets and lawsuits are a cost of doing business for them.

    They are not inclined to settle until it makes business sense to them.

    TruLaw lawyers building our cases with an eye on winning in court as well as settlement, when we believe that is the best result for our clients.

    We will never settle without advising you of your options, and we will keep you posted on our progress, to the extent we are legally able.

  • Is there currently a Nexium or Prilosec Lawsuit?

    A corporation, by definition is profit seeking.

    There is no requirement that a corporation act morally.

    Unfortunately, too often we see dangerous drugs, devices and products remain on the market when corporations prioritize profit over people.

    If these same corporations warn consumers of these risks, there is no case.

    We only pursue lawsuits on behalf of individuals who were not warned of the risk associated with the dangerous drug, device or product on the market.

    TruLaw is pursuing Nexium, Prilosec, or PPI Lawsuits because we believe consumers were not properly warned of the risks of injury.

  • Have you seen a Nexium or Prilosec Lawsuit Commercial?

    Did a recent Nexium, Prilosec, or Proton Pump Inhibitor commercial grab your attention?

    Did you find our site because you were wondering if you qualify for Heartburn Medicine lawsuits?

    We built the Heartburn Drug Instant Case Evaluator ℠ as a no cost/no obligation place for you to find answers about your legal rights.

    If you found us today, you are looking for instant answers to whether you should file a Heartburn Medicine (PPI) Lawsuit and we want to help you.

    We believe that in order for you to make important decisions about your health and your legal rights, you need to start with information.

    We provide you this valuable information so you are prepared to talk to a lawyer.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

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