Nexium and Chronic Kidney Disease Lawsuits
Nexium, a popular proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication used reduce excess stomach acid, has been shown to increase the risk of chronic kidney disease. People who have developed CKD or other serious medical conditions after taking Nexium may be eligible for financial compensation through a Nexium Lawsuit.
The February 2016 issue of JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association, included publication of new study results which showed a 20 to 50 percent increased risk of chronic kidney disease in patients taking Nexium (esomeprazole) and similar medications. The study examined medical records of over ten thousand patients taking Proton Pump Inhibitors like Nexium, who were followed for an average of more than 13 years and showed that the longer the drugs were taken, the greater the risk.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) including Nexium and its “parent” drug, Prilosec, have also been shown to increase the risk of heart attack, bone fracture and hypomagnesemia or low magnesium levels. PPIs are also suspected of causing other serious conditions such as acute kidney injury. birth defects, and acquired infections. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of Nexium and many more are expected.
When a patient has suffered medical injury due to the actions of a medication, he or she may be eligible for compensation. In the past, manufacturers have been held responsible for the costs of medical treatments, lost wages and pain and suffering. Previous lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of medications that caused harm for:
- Producing a dangerous or defective medication
- Failing to provide adequate warnings of the risks of the medication
- Knowingly hiding dangers of the medication from the public and medical community
- Marketing the medication in an illegal or improper manner
Nexium and other PPI medications have been the subject of investigations relating to harm since 2006. Many patients have filed Nexium lawsuits including hundreds of bone fracture victims in Massachusetts and multiple heart attack victims. Nexium’s manufacturer, AstraZeneca reached a $20 million class action settlement after the plaintiffs claimed that AstraZeneca used deceptive marketing practices to promote the medication.
AstraZeneca also settled price-fixing lawsuits for hundreds of millions of dollars with the states of Arizona, Alabama, Kentucky, and Massachusetts, for overcharging Medicare and Medicaid programs for the medication. In addition, they may also be facing $billions in criminal penalties for illegally paying a generics manufacturer to delay production so that the cost of Nexium would remain high. The PLOS One study results may mean that more patients will file medical injury lawsuits against the manufacturer of Nexium.
Though some lawsuits result in significant financial awards, each case of medical injury must be considered separately and there is no guarantee of success. Patients or family members of victims who have suffered serious side effects after taking Nexium may be eligible for compensation and should have their case evaluated by legal experts.
Nexium (esomeprazole) is an anti-acid medication used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Millions of people have taken Nexium and may be at risk of heart attack, kidney disease, bone fracture, birth defects and other serious side effects. Many Nexium lawsuits have been filed by people injured by the medication and more may be expected.
PPI medications like Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and others have been taken by more than 20 million U.S. adults the drugs have made $ millions for drug companies. The drugs were approved for non-prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) use because they were considered safe and have been sold to millions of Americans. Unfortunately, PPIs like Nexium are now known to cause serious effects in some people, including heart attack, bone fracture, birth defects and kidney disease. Some researchers also believe the medications are taken too often and for too long and may put more people at risk.
Serious Side Effects of Using Nexium
The PPI class of drugs, including Nexium, have been shown to pose serious health threats and some professionals have indicated that they may be overprescribed and taken for too long. Negative study results and FDA warnings reaching back to 2005 include:
- 2005 – Bone fractures. A study indicated that Nexium may increase risk of bone fracture, especially in elderly patients. The FDA required label changes and issued a consumer warning about the risk, but not until 2010.
- 2009 – Physical dependency and acid rebound – Research showed some patients could become dependent on Nexium and when it was discontinued, excessive stomach acid was released.
- 2010 – Birth defects. Some reports showed that PPI use may be causing cardiac birth defects in humans. Though the FDA said there was not enough proof, but animal studies have show similar birth defects and Nexium is listed as a Pregnancy Category C medication which means it should not be taken by most pregnant women.
- 2011 – Hypomagnesemia or low magnesium. A warning stated that Nexium may cause low magnesium levels in some patients, which may affect nerve, muscle and heart function.
- 2012 – Intestinal infection. A risk of a serious gastrointestinal infection, Clostridium difficile, was identified and warning was issued, along with information about how long PPIs should be taken. Notification of the dangers of certain drug interactions, including anti-clotting agent Plavix, was also issued.
- 2015 – Heart attack. Two, very large studies showed an increased risk of heart attack with PPI use, even in healthy patients. The risk of heart attack increased by up to 21% and longer use meant higher risk.
- 2016 – Vascular aging. Research showed that Nexium use may cause premature aging of cells in blood vessels. A direct link has not been proven but dangers of diseases related to aging may be increased. Diseases include dementia, cardiovascular disease, cancer and others.
- 2016 – Kidney damage. Another study showed that long-term use of Nexium and other PPIs may increase the chance that kidney or renal failure will develop or worsen in certain patients.
Common Nexium Side Effects
Nexium, like all medications, may cause side effects. Most of these are mild to moderate and many will go away after a period of time. Symptoms that are severe or bothersome should be reported to a health care professional. Common side effects of Nexium include.Most of the side effects of Prilosec are mild to moderate and may go away over time. Common side effects of Prilosec include:
- Unpleasant taste in mouth
- Nausea, diarrhea, intestinal pain
- Muscle/joint pain
Some side effects may be more severe, serious, or life-threatening and include:
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Heart attack
- Confusion, speech disorder
- Loss of consciousness, seizure
- Bone fracture
- Birth Defects
- Bullseye rash (Erythema Multiforme) or other severe rash
Serious side effects may be life-threatening and should treated as an emergency.
More About Nexium Lawsuits
Nexium was introduced at nearly the same time that Astra-Zeneca’s first PPI, Prilosec’s patent was expiring and the company was accused of improperly encouraging patients to switch to Nexium, simply to increase profits. Astra-Zeneca ultimately paid $20 million to settle a class-action lawsuit but the company is facing medical injury lawsuits over Nexium, unrelated to that 2005 case.
Safety concerns about Nexium, Prilosec and other PPI use have continued to occur but the medications are still in use, both as prescriptions and over-the-counter. Thousands of injuries may have been caused by Nexium and the company is facing multiple lawsuits related to those injuries which may include birth defects, heart attacks, kidney failure, and bone fractures.
Patients or their loved ones who have been injured by Nexium, may be eligible for compensation for past and future medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. In some cases, if it can be proven that the company knew of the dangers of a medication but continued to sell it anyway, punitive damages can also be awarded.
Though there are no guarantees and each case must be evaluated separately, patients or loved ones who may have been injured by Nexium, should seek a legal evaluation.