Nexium Lawsuit

Nexium is AstraZeneca’s most successful product.

Millions of people across the United States have taken Nexium to treat stomach acid-related conditions.

Nexium was introduced as Prilosec’s patent was expiring, leading some to believe that AstraZeneca introduced it not as an improvement on Prilosec, but as a way to maintain profits.

Nexium can have some adverse side effects if taken long-term, including potential damage to the kidneys.

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  • What Is Nexium?
    • Is Nexium Available Over the Counter?
    • What Kinds of Nexium Are There?
    • Who Manufactures Nexium?
    • When Was Nexium Developed?
    • What Is the Difference Between Omeprazole and Esomeprazole?
    • How Was Nexium Marketed?
    • How Does Nexium Work?
  • What Does Nexium Treat?
    • What Is Acid Reflux?
    • What Is Heartburn?
      • What Are the Symptoms of Heartburn?
    • What Is GERD?
      • What Are the Symptoms of GERD?
    • What Is Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome?
  • What Are the Side Effects of Nexium?
    • What Are the Serious Side Effects of Nexium?
    • What Are the Symptoms of Anemia?
  • What Are the Risks of Taking Nexium?
    • What Is Heart Disease?
      • What Is a Heart Attack?
      • What Are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack?
    • What Is a Stroke?
      • What Are the Symptoms of a Stroke?
    • What Is Kidney Disease?
      • What Are the Symptoms of Kidney Disease?
    • What Is Stomach Cancer?
      • What Are the Symptoms of Stomach Cancer?
  • What Warnings Has the FDA Issued for Nexium?
  • What Nexium Lawsuit Settlements Are There?
  • What Nexium Lawsuits Are There?
  • Should I Consider a Nexium Lawsuit?

What Is Nexium?

Nexium is a brand name of proton pump inhibitors in the United States and the United Kingdom. It’s a medication designed to reduce stomach acid by blocking the production of the acid. The generic version of Nexium is esomeprazole. It’s meant to be taken by those experiencing frequent heartburn or another stomach acid-related ailment. Typically, Nexium is not fast-acting and isn’t taken for immediate relief.

Is Nexium Available Over the Counter?

Esomeprazole is available for sale without a prescription. Therefore, Nexium can be sold over the counter. Some people who take Nexium may still receive a prescription for it from their doctor.

What Kinds of Nexium Are There?

There are several types of proton pump inhibitor sold under the Nexium brand. The different kinds of Nexium include:

  • Nexium 24HR
  • Nexium IV
  • Nexium
  • Nexium Packet

Who Manufactures Nexium?

Nexium is manufactured by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca was founded in 1999 when the British company Zeneca Group merged with the Swedish company Astra AB. Since the merger occurred, AstraZeneca has been one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. In addition to manufacturing Nexium, AstraZeneca is also known for manufacturing drugs for the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Gastrointestinal conditions
  • Inflammation
  • Infections
  • Respiratory ailments

The company is also involved in neuroscience.

When Was Nexium Developed?

Nexium is AstraZeneca’s most successful medication. The company began to manufacture Nexium in 2001, two years before its patent on omeprazole was due to expire. It was this timing that would later lead some to claim that Nexium had been introduced solely to maintain profits for the company after omeprazole’s patent for Prilosec expired. However, AstraZeneca reported that the release of Nexium for sale was due to esopremazole’s better dosage efficiency and the decrease in variability between patients. Omeprazole, which Nexium’s esomeprazole was developed to replace, had been patented in 1999.

What Is the Difference Between Omeprazole and Esomeprazole?

Omeprazole was AstraZeneca’s original proton pump inhibitor medication. It was patented in 1999 in the same month that Astra and Zeneca merged to form AstraZeneca. Omeprazole was sold as Prilosec. Two years before Prilosec’s patent was due to expire, AstraZeneca developed S-omeprazole, also called esomeprazole. Esomeprazole is the (S)-(−)-isomer of omeprazole. This means that omeprazole contains two isomers, or molecules with identical chemical formulas but different arrangements of the elements within, while esomeprazole contains only one isomer.

How Was Nexium Marketed?

AstraZeneca heavily marketed Nexium. The marketing was successful in that Nexium soon became a best-selling medication for heartburn and other stomach acid-related complaints. Nexium also became AstraZeneca’s best-selling medication. However, this marketing was also controversial. Because Nexium contained a higher amount per dose of esomeprazole than Prilosec did, its effectiveness may have been due to the higher amount of the proton pump inhibitor contained in the medication rather than any increased effectiveness, making Nexium not very different from its predecessor after all.

How Does Nexium Work?

Nexium works by turning off the proton pumps in the stomach’s parietal cells. It does this by preventing the H+/K+-ATPase enzyme on the parietal cells from completing the final step in the process of stomach acid production. The parietal cells are the cells involved in stomach acid production. By blocking the H+/K+-ATPase enzyme, Nexium prevents the stomach from creating the excess stomach acid that was causing the condition it was used to treat.

What Does Nexium Treat?

Nexium was developed to treat conditions related to excess stomach acid. These conditions include:

  • Acid Reflux
  • Heartburn
  • GERD
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

What Is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Normally, a band of muscle at the base of the esophagus, called the esophageal sphincter, keeps the end of the esophagus closed so acid doesn’t come up through it. The sphincter opens to allow food and drink to pass through into the stomach during eating and drinking. Then, it tightens again to prevent acid from coming up. However, sometimes it doesn’t tighten enough. This is when acid reflux occurs. Acid gets past the esophageal sphincter and enters the esophagus, the lining of which isn’t designed to protect against the harsh stomach acid.

What Is Heartburn?

Heartburn is the burning sensation in the chest that occurs during acid reflux. The burning feeling is typically located just behind the breastbone. Generally, heartburn can be managed with lifestyle changes and with over the counter medications, such as Nexium. Heartburn is typically worse at night, after eating, when lying down, or when bending over.

What Are the Symptoms of Heartburn?

The most common symptoms of heartburn include:

  • Burning pain in the chest that:
    • Worsens at night or after eating
    • Worsens when lying down or bending over
  • A bitter or acidic taste

There are some more severe symptoms that can occur. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor:

  • Heartburn more frequent than twice a week
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss due to:
    • Decreased appetite
    • Difficulty eating
  • Over the counter medications don’t stop the symptoms

If chest pain is severe, it may actually be a sign of a heart attack and anyone experiencing it should contact a doctor immediately.

What Is GERD?

GERD is gastroesophageal reflux disease. GERD occurs when someone experiences acid reflux frequently, typically twice a week or more, or severely. Acid reflux is generally classified as GERD when it’s either mild acid reflux that occurs regularly, usually twice weekly or more frequently, or severe acid reflux that occurs at least once weekly. Depending on the severity of the GERD, sufferers may be able to manage the condition with lifestyle changes or with

What Are the Symptoms of GERD?

The symptoms of GERD can include the following:

  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Regurgitation of sour liquid or food
  • Trouble swallowing
  • The feeling of a lump in your throat

For those who experience nighttime heartburn, they can experience the following symptoms:

  • Laryngitis
  • Chronic cough
  • Interrupted sleep
  • New asthma
  • Worsening asthma

Anyone experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath should seek emergency medical attention. These are signs of a possible heart attack.

What Is Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome?

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a rare syndrome that results in increased production of stomach acid. Patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome develop tumors in the pancreas or the duodenum, which is the upper part of the small intestine. The tumors, which are called gastrinomas, secrete gastrin, a hormone that is involved in the production of stomach acid. This results in the parietal cells of the stomach producing too much acid.

What Are the Side Effects of Nexium?

The most common side effects of taking Nexium are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache

Taking Nexium can also cause low levels of magnesium or B12. Low levels of magnesium can occur in patients taking Nexium for longer than three months but typically doesn’t occur until after a year if it occurs at all. Low vitamin B12 levels can occur in patients who have taken Nexium for longer than three years.

Low vitamin B12 can cause anemia. Low magnesium can cause the following symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Muscle weakness
  • Irregular heartbeat

What Are the Serious Side Effects of Nexium?

There are some more serious side effects that can occur, especially if Nexium is taken long term. These more serious symptoms can include:

  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Jerking movements
  • Jitteriness
  • Hand and foot spasms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle aches
  • Voicebox spasms

Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should contact a medical professional.

What Are the Symptoms of Anemia?

Low levels of vitamin B12 can cause anemia. The symptoms of anemia are:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Pale skin
  • Yellowish skin
  • Chest pain
  • Cold feet or hands
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness

What Are the Risks of Taking Nexium?

Studies have tied long-term usage of Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors to an increased risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Stomach cancer

Nexium and other PPIs have been tied to not just an increased risk of developing one of these conditions, but also to the risk of dying from it. Over a period of ten years, 13% of patients taking PPIs died of a heart condition or from a stroke. Researchers have calculated an 18% increase in the risk of dying from a cardiovascular condition in those taking PPIs long-term, taking into account the average age of the patients as well as any chronic health conditions they may have had.

What Is Heart Disease?

Heart disease is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of conditions, including:

  • Blood vessel diseases
  • Coronary artery diseases
  • Arrhythmias
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Cardiovascular diseases
    • Heart attack
    • Blocked blood vessels
    • Chest pain
    • Stroke

Typically, heart disease is used to refer more specifically to cardiovascular conditions such as a heart attack or stroke, even though the term does include other conditions related to the heart. The symptoms of heart disease vary depending on what type of heart disease a patient has.

What Is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack happens when something blocks the flow of blood into the heart. The blockage can be caused by a buildup of fat, cholestorla, or another substance. If the blood flow to the heart is interrupted, it can cause damage or even destroy part of the heart. While treatments for heart attacks have improved drastically in recent years, heart attacks can still be fatal.

What Are the Symptoms of a Heart Attack?

The symptoms of a heart attack can include the following:

  • A feeling in the chest that can spread to the arms, neck, jaw, or back of:
    • Pain
    • Squeezing
    • Tightness
    • Aching
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Indegestion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Cold sweat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sudden dizziness

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted or is stopped. The lack of blood supply to the brain can deprive the brain of much-needed nutrients and brain cells can begin to die after only a few minutes. If a stroke is suspected, it’s essential to receive medical care as quickly as possible. Prompt treatment can help prevent permanent brain damage from occurring.

What Are the Symptoms of a Stroke?

The symptoms of a stroke can include:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty understanding what others are saying
  • Paralysis of the:
    • Arm
    • Leg
    • Face
  • Numbness in the:
    • Arm
    • Leg
    • Face
  • Difficulty seeing out of either one or both eyes
  • Headache
  • Difficulty walking

What Is Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease is the loss of kidney function over time. It’s also called chronic kidney failure. The kidneys are the organ in the body that filters out waste from the blood. This waste is then excreted from the body as urine. If the kidneys fail, the body can build up toxic levels of electrolytes, fluids, and waste.

What Are the Symptoms of Kidney Disease?

The symptoms of kidney disease can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Changes in the amount and frequency of urine
  • Decreased mental acuity
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle twitches
  • Itching
  • Swelling in the:
    • Feet
    • Ankles
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain

What Is Stomach Cancer?

Stomach cancer occurs when abnormal cells begin to grow in the stomach. Stomach cancer can occur in any part of the stomach. In the United States, stomach cancer most frequently occurs in the esophagus meets the stomach, while in the rest of the world, stomach cancer is most frequently occuring in the main body of the stomach.

What Are the Symptoms of Stomach Cancer?

The symptoms of stomach cancer can include:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Vomiting
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Stomach pain
  • After eating, a feeling of:
    • Fullness
    • Bloating

What Warnings Has the FDA Issued for Nexium?

The FDA has issued a warning regarding Nexium in 2012 for an increased risk of an infection from the bacteria C. difficile. Patients who have taken Nexium long-term may be at greater risk of an infection from the bacteria, which would manifest itself as diarrhea that doesn’t get better.

Nexium also carries warning labels for the following:

  • Bone fracture
  • Lupus
  • difficile infection
  • Acute interstitial nephritis
  • Fundic gland polyps
  • Hypomagnesemia, or low magnesium levels

Studies have linked Nexium with other conditions, such as an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease, but no warnings have as of yet been issued for these risks.

What Nexium Lawsuit Settlements Are There?

In 2005, AstraZeneca settled a lawsuit that claimed it had developed Nexium solely to maintain their profits from Prilosec, rather than developing an actual improvement to the medication. The plaintiffs claimed that AstraZeneca was improperly encouraging patients to switch over to taking Nexium, their new medication, instead of Prilosec, whose patent was about to expire, thereby reducing the profits the company could make from it as other companies created generic versions of the drug. AstraZeneca settled for $20 million.

What Nexium Lawsuits Are There?

AstraZeneca is facing lawsuits not only because of patent issues and overly aggressive marketing tactics, however. The company is also facing ongoing lawsuits over medical issues that resulted from extended use of Nexium. Despite the safety concerns of the drug, it’s still in use, still marketed as a treatment for stomach acid-related ailments, and the FDA has not issued warnings for many of the conditions that studies have demonstrated a link to.

These lawsuits are still ongoing, so the outcome is as of yet undetermined.

Should I Consider a Nexium Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one has taken Nexium for a long period of time, typically for more than a year or several years, and has suffered medical complications or died as a result, you may have a case against AstraZeneca. You or a loved one may be eligible for compensation for wrongful death, medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. There’s no guarantee, however, so each case must be evaluated to determine whether or not there’s a case.

Notwithstanding claims related to this product, the drug remains on the market.

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