Heartburn Drugs

Heartburn Drug Lawsuits

The attorneys at Franklin D. Azar and Associates are investigating the correlation between proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and kidney injur.  Proton pump inhibitors are taken by millions of Americans for the treatment of heartburn and acid reflux (GERD).  These drugs work by causing a reduction in the amount of gastric acid produced by the stomach.  The first PPI’s were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1989.  Although these drugs have been on the market for decades, recent studies have shown a correlation between the long-term use of these medications and the development of serious side effects such as acute interstitial nephritis (AIN), acute kidney failure or chronic kidney disease (CKD).  If you have suffered from one of these injuries after long-term use of a PPI, call our experienced attorneys for a free case consultation.

Examples of PPIs on the Market

Some examples of the more popular proton pump inhibitors on the market include:

  • Nexium®
  • Prevacid®
  • Prilosec®
  • Dexilant®
  • Zegerid®
  • Protonix®
  • AcipHex®

Heartburn Drugs can Cause Serious Injuries

Proton pump inhibitors are available by prescription but can also be purchased over the counter.  Although the warning labels on these drugs indicate that the drugs should only be taken for a few weeks at a time, up to three times per year, many Americans take these drugs every day for months or years at a time.  A 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association for Internal Medicine found that individuals taking proton pump inhibitors are at an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease when compared to individuals not taking PPIs.  The article also found that as the length of PPI use goes up, so does the risk of the development of chronic kidney disease.  The study also found that patients who took PPIs faced a 39% higher risk of chronic kidney disease over patients who took H2 blockers, another type of drug used to treat heartburn and acid reflux.

FDA Requires PPI Manufacturers to Add an AIN Warning

Acute Interstitial nephritis (AIN) is a serious form of kidney inflammation that has been linked to PPI use.  This correlation was first noticed in 1992 when a 74 year-old woman was admitted to the hospital in Arizona with acute renal failure after taking a Prilosec for the prior six months. Once she stopped taking Prilosec, she recovered.  But when she began taking Prilosec again her symptoms returned.  Again, when she stopped taking the drug her symptoms again subsided.  In December 2014, the FDA required all PPI manufacturers to add warnings to their labels regarding the risk of development of Acute Interstitial Nephritis.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Litigation

In 2016, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) was asked to create an MDL where lawsuits alleging kidney injuries as a result of the ingestion of PPIs could be consolidated.  On February 2, 2017 the JPML denied the petition to form an MDL.  As a result of the JPML’s denial, attorneys handling PPI claims have no choice but to litigate the cases individually across the country.   However, a second petition to the JPML seeking the creation of a PPI MDL has been filed and will be heard by the JPML on July 27, 2017.

What Can I Recover in a Lawsuit?

By filing a lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for any losses stemming from your kidney injury, such as:

  • Past and Future Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Funeral Expenses

Call the experienced drug and device attorneys at Franklin D. Azar and Associates today for a free consultation.