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.