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    Commonly Used Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Heartburn Drugs Linked to Kidney Damage

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), often referred to as acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion, is one of the most common digestive diseases in America. People with GERD often experience a burning pain in their chests or throats after eating or drinking certain foods or liquids. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, around 20% of Americans suffer from GERD.

    While some people can manage their GERD symptoms through lifestyle changes, including weight loss and dietary changes, others must take medications to find relief from their symptoms. The most effective medications for treating GERD are called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and they include popular over-the-counter medications like Nexium (esomeprazole), which is manufactured by AstraZeneca, and Prilosec (omeprazole), which is manufactured by Procter & Gamble.

    Unfortunately, these medications’ effectiveness in treating GERD symptoms can come at a steep price.

    PPIs are linked to:

    • Liver damage
    • Kidney disease
    • Stomach cancer

    The injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm are currently investigating claims on behalf of people who have developed serious side effects while taking:

    • Aciphex® (rabeprazole sodium)
    • Dexilant® (dexlansoprazole)
    • Nexium® (ensomeprazole)
    • Prevacid® (lansoprazole)
    • Prilosec® (omeprazole)
    • Protonix® (pantoprazole)
    • Zegerid® (omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate)

    If you or someone close to you took a PPI like Nexium or Prilosec and developed any of these serious health problems, we want to help. The South Carolina defective drug lawyers at Joye Law Firm are working hard to help injured victims of these medications get the full compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

    How Do PPIs Cause Liver Damage?

    A 2021 study published in the National Library of Medicine says that PPI use is “associated with an increased risk of fatty liver disease compared with non-use of PPIs.” The exact mechanism by which PPIs might cause liver damage is still under investigation, but a few potential mechanisms have been proposed:

    Metabolism and Enzyme Interactions—PPIs are metabolized in the liver by certain enzymes, including the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme system. These enzymes are involved in the breakdown of various drugs and substances in the body. Interactions between PPIs and these enzymes could potentially lead to disruptions in liver function for some individuals.

    Inflammatory Responses—Some studies have suggested that PPI use could trigger inflammatory responses in the liver. Inflammation is a common precursor to various forms of liver damage, including hepatitis.

    Microbiome Disruption—The gut microbiome plays a role in various aspects of health, including liver function. PPIs can affect the balance of the gut microbiome, and disruptions in the microbiome have been associated with serious liver issues.

    Hypomagnesemia—Prolonged use of PPIs has been linked to low magnesium levels in the body (hypomagnesemia). Severe hypomagnesemia can lead to complications, including possible liver damage.


    How Do PPIs Cause Kidney Disease?

    A 2016 study published in JAMA found that PPI use “is associated with a higher risk of incident chronic kidney disease.” However, the exact mechanism by which PPIs might contribute to kidney issues is not fully understood. Here are a few proposed mechanisms that researchers have explored:

    Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN)—AIN is a form of kidney inflammation that has been associated with PPI use. Some studies have suggested that PPIs might trigger an immune response in the kidneys, leading to inflammation. This could potentially contribute to the development of kidney disease over time.

    Proton Pump Expression—Proton pumps are present not only in the stomach but also in the kidneys and other tissues. PPIs could interfere with the function of proton pumps in the kidneys, affecting their normal physiological processes and potentially contributing to kidney dysfunction.

    Calcium Absorption—There are research studies proposing that PPIs could affect calcium absorption in the body. Changes in calcium levels can impact kidney function and potentially contribute to kidney disease.

    Magnesium Levels—Prolonged use of PPIs has been associated with low magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia), leading to various health issues, including kidney problems.

    Inflammation and Oxidative Stress—PPIs may potentially increase oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Both oxidative stress and inflammation are factors that can contribute to kidney damage.

    Drug Interactions—PPIs can interact with other medications, affecting their absorption, metabolism, and effectiveness. Some of these interactions might indirectly impact kidney function if they interfere with medications that affect renal health.


    How Do PPIs Cause Stomach Cancer?

    A 2019 study published in the National Library of Medicine states that “long-term use of PPIs is associated with a higher risk of gastric cancer development.” PPIs may cause or contribute to the development of stomach cancer through:

    Atrophic Gastritis—Long-term use of PPIs can reduce stomach acid production. This reduction in acidity might lead to changes in the stomach lining, including gastric atrophy, a condition where the stomach lining becomes thinner. Atrophic gastritis has been associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer in some individuals.

    Helicobacter pylori Infection—Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that can cause chronic inflammation of the stomach lining and is a major risk factor for stomach cancer. Some research has suggested that PPI use might affect the way the immune system responds to H. pylori infection, potentially increasing the risk of stomach cancer in individuals who are infected with the bacterium.

    Gastrin Production—PPIs block the production of stomach acid, which can lead to an increase in the production of gastrin, a hormone that stimulates the release of stomach acid. Chronically elevated gastrin levels might promote the growth of cells in the stomach lining, potentially contributing to the development of stomach cancer.

    Alteration of Gut Microbiota—PPIs can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, which could indirectly influence the risk of various gastrointestinal conditions, including stomach cancer.

    Long-Term Use and Chronic Inflammation—Prolonged use of PPIs might contribute to chronic inflammation in the stomach lining, which is a risk factor for stomach cancer.

    Are Injured Patients Filing Lawsuits Against PPI Manufacturers?

    Yes. According to Drugwatch, more than 18,600 lawsuits have been filed against PPI manufacturers, including AstraZeneca and Procter & Gamble, claiming their drugs caused various health problems and injuries. The lawsuits accuse the drug manufacturers of knowing about the risks their medications posed to patients, but failing to sufficiently warn them, or their doctors, about those serious risks.

    Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Heartburn Drugs Linked to Other Problems

    This is not the first time PPI heartburn drugs have come under fire for patient safety. In 2010, the FDA published information about the increased risk of hip, spine and wrist fractures associated with high-doses and/or long-term use of PPI drugs. This lead to a change in the way PPI drugs were labeled, in order to warn patients of the possible risks.

    Possible Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Heartburn Drug Side Effects:

    • Chronic Kidney Disease
    • Acute Kidney Failure
    • Acute Interstitial Nephritis
    • Cardiac Problems/Heart Attack
    • Stroke
    • Bone Fractures
    • Low Magnesium Levels
    • Clostridium difficile (C. diff) Infection
    • Dementia
    • Death


    What Compensation Can I Receive for My PPI Injury?

    If you were injured by a PPI, you may be suffering from serious health problems. It’s only right that you should have the chance to get full compensation for all the ways a drug you were told was safe harmed you.

    We’re helping PPI victims seek compensation for things like:

    • Current and future medical bills
    • Current and future lost wages
    • Pain and suffering

    In addition to getting compensation, filing a lawsuit against a negligent drug company can help ensure that dangerous drugs don’t harm other innocent people in the future.


    Legal Help for Victims of Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Heartburn Drugs

    AstraZeneca and Procter & Gamble are two of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, and their drugs Nexium and Prilosec are two of the most commonly used drugs in America. At Joye Law Firm, when it comes to getting our clients the compensation they’re owed, we’re not afraid to stand up to any company, regardless of size.

    Helping injured people is what we do, it is all we do. If you or a loved one suffered kidney problems or other serious side effects that you believe are linked to the use of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) heartburn drugs, contact the Joye Law Firm today. Our firm can investigate a claim on your behalf at no cost or obligation to you. All information provided will remain 100% confidential. Our phones are answered 24/7, so contact Joye now and let us get to work for you.

    Don’t wait another minute to get the experienced legal help you need if you were hurt by a PPI like Nexium or Prilosec. Our legal team knows what you’re going through, and we’re ready to help you move forward with your life. Contact us now for a free case review.


    Aciphex®, Dexilant®, Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec®, Protonix®, Zegerid® are trademarked brand names. Joye Law Firm claims no association between the firm and these manufacturers, brand names, products or intellectual property. Do not discontinue any medication without first consulting with your physician.