Are Prevacid and other similar drugs linked to kidney failure?
There is evidence use of Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) drugs, including Prevacid (lansoprazole), has led to the development of kidney disease. Some people are taking legal action because these medications have caused severe kidney damage and kidney failure. Both the doctor-prescribed and over-the-strength versions are part of the problem.
Prevacid and other PPI drugs are used to treat acid reflux, GERD, peptic ulcer disease, and many different digestive health issues. Some people take these drugs on a daily basis to keep their symptoms under control. Though the PPIs are considered relatively safe, there is evidence that daily long-term use can lead to kidney damage and other severe health problems.
Prevacid is part of a group of drugs known as PPIs. They were approved by the FDA in 1988 and quickly became one of the most often prescribed drugs on the market. Data shows about 14 percent of adults in the United States take prescription-strength PPIs. These drugs are also available over-the-counter and are some of the best-selling OTC medications in the country.
Are Prevacid and Other PPIs Safe?
Though mostly considered safe, there is a chance that overuse of these drugs can be very risky. Ongoing use has been linked to kidney problems, but many people using these drugs had no idea there was a risk.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed results from a study of people using Prevacid. The study showed taking this type of drug more than once a day or for extended periods of time increase a person’s risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) but as much as 20 to 50 percent.
Some have been concerned for more than a decade about the risks linked to these medications. One common concern relates to how long patients are using these drugs. Instead of taking PPIs for short-term relief while making diet and lifestyle changes to get a problem under control, users are taking daily doses of Prevacid and medications like it for years. Some believe patients could discontinue their use of the drug without suffering a relapse of symptoms and others believe prescriptions have been given by doctors without a patient receiving a definite diagnosis.
Other Health Risks of Prevacid
The FDA has issued several safety warnings about Prevacid and other PPIs such as:
- PPIs and their link to hip fractures
- PPI dependency due to the rebound overproduction of acid when the mediation is stopped
- Increased risk of birth defects when the mediation is taken during pregnancy (one PPI drug, Prilosec, received a Category C rating from the FDA)
- PPIs and their link to neurological, muscular, and cardiac health problems that are triggered by low magnesium levels
New safety concerns about Prevacid were also raised in June of 2015, when a PLOS One study showed that Prevacid and other PPIs may increase the risk of heart attack by up to 21 percent. This risk exists even when patients are mostly “healthy” with no history of heart disease.
Prevacid has also been linked to a severe and potentially fatal rash known as Erythema Multiforme. Other side effects of Prevacid include dizziness, headache, anxiety, joint or muscle pain, and nausea, diarrhea, and other intestinal stomach-related issues.
Many Prevacid lawsuits are moving through the court system and more are expected. As prescription and over-the-counter use of these drugs continues long-term, more people are expected to develop kidney health issues and other health concerns.
Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic renal failure (CRF) is caused when there is repeated stress or damage to the kidneys. Over time, the kidneys are no longer able to function and cannot filter toxins and waste out of the bloodstream. Symptoms of kidney disease include:
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal electrolyte levels
- Irregular heartbeat
- Fluid in the lungs
- Not able to eat
- Lack of urine
Kidney diseases can worsen over time and result in life-long damage if not treated. If you suspect you have any of the symptoms of kidney disease you should speak to your doctor as soon as you can.
There have been many lawsuits filed against makers of Prevacid and other PPIs. Those who had life-changing medical problems and had to seek medical attention might be able to get money from the maker of Prevacid. If you or a loved one has suffered any side effects that might be linked to PPI use, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as you can about filling a Prevacid lawsuit.