If you or a loved one have developed chronic kidney disease or suffered kidney failure after daily use of prescription or over-the-counter strengths of brand-name Prilosec, you may be eligible for compensation.
Prilosec and Chronic Kidney Disease
A recent study has shown that Prilosec and other Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) medications may increase the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. You may be eligible for financial compensation through a Prilosec lawsuit if you or a loved one have experienced chronic kidney disease or other serious medical injury after taking Prilosec.
In February of 2016, JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association published results of a study showing that people who take Prilosec and other Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) medications may have a 20 to 50 percent increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The longer the medication is taken, the greater the risk.
This is not the first safety concern that has been raised by Prilosec, with issues reaching back to 2002. Prilosec has been shown to:
- Increase the risk of chronic kidney disease
- Increase the risk of heart attack
- Increase the risk of bone fracture
- Increase the risk of low magnesium levels or hypomagnesemia
Patients or their families may be eligible for compensation for medical costs, loss of wages and pain and suffering due to medical injury caused by Prilosec. If the medication’s use resulted in a death, family members may be eligible for wrongful death damages awarded in a Prilosec lawsuit.
Past lawsuits filed against drug manufacturers whose medications resulted in injury have claimed that those companies:
- Produced a dangerous or defective drug
- Failed to provide adequate warnings about risks of drug
- Knowingly hid dangers of medication from public and medical community
- Marketed the medication in an improper or illegal way
Some victims have filed Prilosec lawsuits in the past for other injuries but no settlements have been reached. This new information regarding increased risk of chronic kidney disease may mean that more patients will do so.
Filing a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer carries no guarantee of success or settlement and each potential case of medical injury must be evaluated separately.
Prilosec (omeprazole) is a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) which works to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by preventing the release of acid in the stomach. Prilosec has been used by millions of people, but it has been shown increase the risk of heart attack, bone fracture and other serious conditions. Multiple Prilosec lawsuits have already been filed against manufacturer, Astra Zeneca for injuries caused by its use.
Prilosec was the first PPI medication, approved in the U.S. in 1989. The PPI class of medications now includes Nexium, Prevacid and several others which have been some of the best-selling drugs in history, making billions of dollars for Astra Zeneca and the other manufacturers. Up to 14% of U.S. adults have taken a prescription PPI medication and many more have used the OTC versions.
Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid were also approved as over-the-counter (OTC) medications because they were believed to be safe enough for use without a doctor’s prescription but the drugs have not been without controversy. Concern has been raised about an increased risk of hip fracture, cardiac birth defects, and heart attack risk when taking Prilosec and other PPIs.
Prilosec Serious Side Effects
Prilosec has been the subject of multiple warnings, the most recent of which came in 2015 but trouble started shortly after its approval. It had initially been released under the name “Losec”, unfortunately similar to a common antidiuretic. The similarity resulted in a number of medication errors and at least one death the name had to be changed to “Prilosec”. Other issues of Prilosec have included:
- Bone fractures – In 2006, a medical journal reported that Prilosec could increase the risk of bone fracture, particularly in the elderly. An FDA consumer warning was finally issued and a labeling change was required in 2010 regarding the increased bone fracture risk.
- Acid rebound – In 2009, Prilosec was shown to cause “dependency”. Researchers showed that if the medication was discontinued, the stomach may suddenly begin releasing too much acid.
- Birth defects – In 2010, concern was raised about a link between cardiac birth defects and Prilosec use. The FDA stated that there wasn’t a statistical link for humans but studies in animals have confirmed the risk. Prilosec is currently listed as Pregnancy Category C and should not be taken by pregnant women unless urgently needed.
- Hypomagnesemia – In 2011, another warning was issued regarding low magnesium levels that may be caused by Prilosec. Hypomagnesemia may affect the way nerves and muscles work and may also have effects on the heart.
- Intestinal infection – In 2012, the FDA issued a warning regarding the increased risk of a serious gastrointestinal illness, Clostridium difficile (C diff), particularly in the elderly. Labeling was changed to include the C difficile warning, along with information about drug interactions and how long Prilosec should be used.
- Heart attack – In 2015, results of two large studies indicated an increase in heart attack risk. The studies examined nearly 3 million people who had taken Prilosec or other PPIs and found that heart attack risk may increase by 16 to 21%, even in patients who did not have a history of cardiac disease.
- Vascular aging – In 2016, researchers concluded that PPI use may prematurely “age” cells of the vascular system. This may contribute to age-related illness such as dementia, renal failure, cardiovascular disease and cancer, though no definitive connection has been made.
- Kidney damage – In 2016, study results published in a respected medical journal indicated that long-term use could contribute to development of chronic kidney failure or renal disease.
Some medical professionals have said that up to 70% of PPI use may not be indicated and the drugs may be used for much longer than appropriate. Prilosec has been the subject of multiple lawsuits for birth defects, fractures and serious effects caused by low magnesium or other factors related to PPI use.
Prilosec Common Side Effects
Most of the side effects of Prilosec are mild to moderate and may go away over time. If symptoms persist or become bothersome, they should be reported to a medical professional. Common side effects of Prilosec include:
- Joint or muscle pain
- Nausea, diarrhea, intestinal pain
- Unpleasant aftertaste
In some cases, side effects may be more serious and may become life-threatening. Severe or serious side effects include:
- Bullseye rash (Erythema Multiforme) or other severe rashes
- Heart rhythm changes, heart attack
- Low magnesium symptoms – speech disorder, confusion, loss of consciousness, seizure
- Bone fracture
- Birth Defects
Serious side effects should be reported to a healthcare immediately.
More on Prilosec Lawsuits
Concerns about Prilosec and PPI safety have continued to emerge but the medications continue to be prescribed and sold over-the-counter. Astra Zeneca, Prilosec’s manufacturer is facing a number of lawsuits due to injuries and birth defects related to the medication.
Plaintiffs are suing for compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering and in some cases, may be seeking punitive damages. There are no guarantees and each case must be considered separately but patients or loved ones of those who suffered heart attack, birth defect, bone fracture or other serious effects of Prilosec should seek legal advice.