Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuit

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are medications used to treat Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD) and other stomach conditions but may have been overused. Drug manufacturers are facing thousands of Proton Pump Inhibitor / PPI lawsuits due to serious injuries such as kidney disease, kidney failure and bone fractures.

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  • What Are the Risks of Taking PPIs?
    • What Is a Heart Attack?
      • What Are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack?
    • What Is a Bone Fracture?
      • What Are the Symptoms of a Bone Fracture?
    • What Is Pneumonia?
      • What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?
    • What Is a C. Difficile Infection?
      • What Are the Symptoms of a C. Difficile Infection?
    • What Is Iron Deficiency?
      • What Are the Symptoms of Iron Deficiency?
    • What Is B12 Deficiency?
    • What Is Chronic Kidney Disease?
      • What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease?
    • What Is a Stroke?
      • What Are the Symptoms of a Stroke?
    • What Is Dementia?
      • What Are the Symptoms of Dementia?
  • What FDA Warnings Are there for PPIs?
    • What Is an FDA Black Box Warning?
  • What PPI Lawsuits Are There?
  • Should I Consider Hiring a PPI Lawyer?
    • How Do I Find a PPI Attorney?

What Are the Risks of Taking PPIs?

Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, are a common medication for health conditions related to stomach acid, such a GERD. They’re commonly prescribed because they work well, but they’re not without their risks. In fact, recent studies have found that there is an increased risk of experiencing severe side effects or medical conditions with the prolonged use of PPIs.

Taking PPIs for an extended period of time can increase the risk of the following:

  • Heart attack
  • Bone fractures
  • Pneumonia
  • difficile infection
  • Iron deficiency
  • B12 deficiency
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Stroke
  • Dementia

Studies have linked taking proton pump inhibitors for a long period of time can increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by between 20 and 50%. Kidney disease can deteriorate the function of the kidney to the point that a transplant is required. Other studies have found a 21% increase in the risk of a heart attack and stroke, found links to bone fractures, and linked PPI use to gastric cancer for some patients. PPIs can also interact with other medications that patients may be taking.

Overall, the death rate over 5 years from various medical complications is 21% higher in patients taking PPIs than in those taking other medications, such as H2 inhibitors, to manage stomach acid-related conditions. Any of the

What Is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to the heart is blocked by something, typically by cholesterol, fat, or some other blockage. If the blood flow to the heart is interrupted, it can cause permanent damage to the heart. A heart attack is also called a myocardial infarction and can be fatal, although treatments for it have drastically improved if the heart attack is treated promptly.

What Are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack?

Anyone who thinks they might be experiencing a heart attack should immediately seek medical attention and dial 911. The symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Pain, pressure, aching, squeezing, or tightness in the chest or arms
    • This feeling can also spread to the back, neck, or jaw
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Cold sweat

The symptoms of a heart attack will vary from person to person. Not everyone who experiences a heart attack will have the same set of symptoms. While some people may experience severe pain or severe symptoms, others may experience a heart attack with no symptoms at all. Some people might have warning signs of a heart attack while sudden cardiac arrest is the first sign for others.

What Is a Bone Fracture?

A fracture is another name for a broken bone. Although outside of the medical community, the most common term is a break, a break refers to only more severe fractures, while there are many different types and severities of fracture. Fractures are most typically caused by falls and other accidents, but can also be caused by stress, medications, or weakness in the bone.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bone Fracture?

The symptoms of a fracture can vary radically, depending on the bone that was fractured and how severe the fracture is. However, some common symptoms of fractures include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Skin discoloration
  • Bleeding (if the fracture pierced the skin)
  • Grating sensation
  • Paleness
  • Clamminess
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

In the case of PPIs, the risk of fractures comes in due to the medication potentially weakening the strength of the patient’s bones. The lower levels of stomach acid caused by taking the PPIs can reduce the amount of calcium available to strengthen the bones. Lower levels of calcium in the bones can therefore lead to osteoporosis, which then leads to a greater risk of fractures and breaks.

What Is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes the air sacs in the lungs, either one or both, to become inflamed. These air sacs can fill with pus or other fluid, which can result in a cough that is accompanied by pus or phlegm, as well as difficulty breathing, chills, and a fever. The severity of pneumonia can range from somewhat mild to very severe. It can even be life-threatening for some, especially those who are older or who have compromised immune systems.

What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?

The symptoms of pneumonia range from mild to severe, depending on the severity of the infection. The factors that can affect the symptoms are age, health, and the type of bacteria that caused the pneumonia infection. Milder forms of pneumonia share similar symptoms to the flu or a cold, but the symptoms may last for much longer.

The symptoms of pneumonia can include:

  • Cough
    • Possibly with phlegm
  • Confusion or other mental awareness changes
    • In adults 65 or older
  • Chest pain while coughing
  • Chest pain while breathing
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Lower body temperature
    • In adults 65 or older
    • In patients with weakened immune systems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Because pneumonia can be life-threatening for older adults or for those with compromised immune systems, it’s important to pay attention to the symptoms. See a doctor if you have difficulty breathing or if symptoms are severe.

What Is a C. Difficile Infection?

  1. difficile is a type of bacteria that infects about half a million people across the United States every year. Typically, those most at risk for developing a C. difficile infection are older adults, most especially those in hospitals or in long-term care facilities, or those who have taken antibiotics. However, the bacteria can and do infect people who do not fit into those categories.

What Are the Symptoms of a C. Difficile Infection?

It’s possible for some people to have the C. difficile bacteria in their intestines but to never experience any symptoms or infection from it. Others experience mild symptoms, while still others experience a severe infection.

The symptoms of a mild infection can include:

  • Mild abdominal cramping
  • Mild abdominal tenderness
  • Watery diarrhea:
    • Typically three or more times daily
    • Typically for at least two days

The symptoms of a severe infection can include:

  • Severe abdominal cramping
  • Watery diarrhea up to 15 times a day
  • Fast heart rate
  • Bloody or pus-filled stools
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Kidney failure
  • An increased white blood cell count

It’s also possible for the bacteria to severely inflame the intestines, enlarge the colon, or even cause sepsis. Patients with these conditions are typically admitted to intensive care at a hospital.

What Is Iron Deficiency?

Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia, a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency is a lack of sufficient iron. The human body uses iron to produce red blood cells and if there isn’t enough iron, the body can’t produce enough healthy red blood cells. Sufferers of anemia are typically pale and feel tired often.

What Are the Symptoms of Iron Deficiency?

Iron deficiency itself doesn’t have any symptoms, but anemia, which can be caused by an iron deficiency, has symptoms that patients can look out for. These symptoms can include:

  • Weakness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Cold hands
  • Cold feet
  • Inflamed or sore tongue
  • Poor appetite
  • Cravings for non-nutritious food or non-food
    • Such as ice, dirt, starch, etc.
  • Brittle nails

Anemia caused by iron deficiency is something that should be diagnosed by a doctor rather than self-diagnosed. Anyone who suspects that they may suffer from anemia should see a medical professional.

What Is B12 Deficiency?

A vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when the body isn’t getting enough vitamin B12. B12 is involved in the production of red blood cells and in the DNA. Most adults are easily able to get enough of this vitamin, but some medications, such as a PPI, can result in a deficiency. Similarly to a deficiency in iron, a B12 deficiency can cause anemia because it’s involved in the production of red blood cells. Therefore, the symptoms of a B12 deficiency are similar to those of an iron deficiency in that the symptoms are of anemia, the condition caused by the deficiency.

What Is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is the gradual loss of function in the kidneys. The kidneys help the body by filtering wastes and fluid out of the blood in the body. This waste material is later expelled from the body in urine. If the kidney’s functions are impaired, dangerous levels of waste can build up in the body. The condition can develop gradually, which means that by the time symptoms are enough to be noticed, the condition may be severe.

What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease?

As kidney failure gradually develops and progresses over time, the symptoms start to get more and more severe. These symptoms can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Changes in urine volume and frequency
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle twitches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Decreased mental capabilities
  • Swollen feet
  • Swollen ankles
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Hypertension
  • Itching

Chronic kidney disease can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are often nonspecific. This means that the symptoms can easily be caused by another illness or health condition and aren’t necessarily specific to CKD.

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke is caused by an interruption of the blood flow to the brain. The blood is what carries oxygen and other nutrients to the brain. If the blood flow is either interrupted or reduced, the brain cells start to die very quickly, typically within minutes. A stroke is a major medical event and requires prompt medical treatment in order to avoid brain damage or death.

What Are the Symptoms of a Stroke?

It’s important to pay close attention to the symptoms of a stroke because prompt treatment can mean the difference between life and death or preventing serious brain damage. The symptoms of a stroke can include:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty understanding what other people are saying
  • Paralysis in the face, leg, or arm
  • Numbness in the face, leg, or arm
  • Headache
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty seeing
    • Can be in either one or both eyes

Anyone exhibiting the symptoms of a stroke should be taken to receive emergency medical treatment immediately.

What Is Dementia?

Dementia isn’t one specific disease. Instead, the term dementia is used to describe a group of symptoms that can be caused by several different diseases. As such, there are many different kinds of dementia, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Vascular dementia
  • Mixed dementia

There are some diseases that are specifically linked to dementia. These can include:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Creutzfeld-Jakob disease

All of the above are conditions causing dementia that cannot be reversed. There are some medical conditions that cause dementia symptoms but that may, with treatment, be temporary. These conditions include:

  • Infections
  • Immune disorders
  • Anoxia
  • Endocrine abnormalities
  • Metabolic problems
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Side effects of medication
  • Brain tumors
  • Poisoning
  • Subdural hematoma
  • Normal-pressure hydrocephalus

What Are the Symptoms of Dementia?

Depending on the cause of dementia, the symptoms can vary. However, there are some common symptoms that most dementia sufferers will exhibit. They’re divided into two categories: psychological and cognitive. The psychological symptoms of dementia have to do with personality and mood, while cognitive symptoms have to do with mental awareness and capacity.

The psychological symptoms of dementia can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in personality
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Inappropriate behavior

The cognitive symptoms of dementia can include:

  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty finding words
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Difficulty with spatial or visual capabilities
  • Difficulty problem-solving or reasoning
  • Difficulty planning
  • Difficulty organizing
  • Difficulty with motor functions
  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Difficulty with complex tasks

What FDA Warnings Are there for PPIs?

In 2011, the FDA issued a warning to the public about the risks associated with taking proton pump inhibitors. The FDA warned that taking PPIs for a long period of time, typically longer than a year, could result in hypomagnesia, or low serum magnesium levels. According to the FDA’s studies, taking magnesium supplements wasn’t enough to restore serum magnesium levels and so usage of the PPI had to cease.

What Is an FDA Black Box Warning?

The FDA has a special type of warning, called the black box warning, for drugs that carry a risk of a life-threatening condition or other adverse side effects. These adverse side effects can be anything that would land a patient in the hospital. Despite the links to an increased risk of life-threatening conditions such as heart attack and stroke, no black box warning has been issued for PPIs.

What PPI Lawsuits Are There?

In 2015, AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of proton pump inhibitors Nexium and Prilosec, settled a class-action lawsuit. This lawsuit alleged that the company had introduced Nexium and touted it as an improved version of Prilosec in order to maintain profits after the patent for Prilosec had expired. The lawsuit was settled for $20 million for the plaintiffs.

By 2018, there were 4,200 lawsuits filed against proton pump inhibitor manufacturers. Many of these cases, which would have been tried in federal court, have been consolidated into an MDL, or multi-district litigation, to be tried in Washington, D.C. Because these lawsuits have similar complaints against the same companies, the consolidation allows everyone involved to focus their efforts on one trial. With the cases consolidated, a small number of cases can act as trials, or “bellwether” cases, so that there’s an idea of how future lawsuits against PPI manufacturers will go.

The current MDL contains 4,238 lawsuits against AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Takeda, all of which are manufacturers of different brands of proton pump inhibitors. The first “bellwether” case is set to go to trial in November of 2020.

Should I Consider Hiring a PPI Lawyer?

Patients who have experienced a heart attack or other serious side effects of PPI use including bone fracture, birth defects, or symptoms related to low magnesium levels may be eligible for compensation for their injuries. Settlements may include a monetary award to reimburse patients for medical costs, loss of work, and pain and suffering. Family members of patients who died as a result of PPI use may be eligible for wrongful death compensation.

In other cases against drug manufacturers, plaintiffs have claimed that the companies:

  • Manufactured a dangerous or defective drug
  • Failed to adequately warn about risks of using the drug
  • Improperly marketed the medication
  • Hid or concealed knowledge about the dangers of medication use

Many drug injury lawsuits result in settlements, but some do not.  Each case of a medical injury that is potentially caused by medication use must be considered separately. If you or a loved one experienced a heart attack or other serious injury after PPI use, you should have your case evaluated by a legal expert. Learn more about proton pump inhibitor lawsuits here.

How Do I Find a PPI Attorney?

Seeger Weiss LLP is offering free consultations for anyone who may have suffered a heart attack after taking Proton Pump Inhibitors. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, present and future medical care, and other losses stemming from your injuries. For more information please fill out the free evaluation form above or call us directly at 888-565-2115.

Notwithstanding claims relating to this product, the drug/medical device remains approved by the U.S. FDA.

View Sources

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