The heartburn medication Dexilant (generic: dexlansoprazole) has been linked to chronic kidney disease (CKD), a condition that can lead to kidney failure and even death if left untreated.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one had kidney problems after taking Dexilant, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
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Update: Dexilant Could Increase Kidney Failure Risk by 96%, Study Finds
April 14, 2016 – Prolonged use of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) indigestion drugs could dramatically increase a person’s risk of long-term kidney damage, a study published today in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN)  suggests. Researchers examined data on 170,000 PPI users and compared them to 20,000 people taking an alternative class of heartburn medications called histamine H2 receptor blockers. They found that, over a period of 5 years, those who took PPIs had a 28% increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease. They also had a 96% greater risk of suffering kidney failure (end-stage renal disease, or ESRD).
“The results emphasize the importance of limiting PPI use to only when it is medically necessary, and also limiting the duration of use to the shortest possible,” said lead author Dr Ziyad Al-Aly, of the VA St. Louis Health Care System in the U.S. “A lot of patients start taking PPIs for a medical condition, and they continue much longer than necessary.”
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What is Dexilant?
Dexilant (dexlansoprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication used to treat stomach and esophageal problems such as heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The drug works by decreasing the amount of acid the stomach makes. This helps relieve the symptoms of heartburn, difficulty swallowing and persistent cough. Unfortunately, PPIs like Dexilant have recently been linked to severe, potentially life-threatening kidney problems.
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Heartburn Drugs Linked to Kidney Disease: JAMA Study
People who use PPI heartburn medications have a 20 to 50% increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) compared to non-users, according to a study published Jan. 11, 2016, in JAMA Internal Medicine . The research doesn’t establish a direct causative relationship between PPIs and CKD; however, according to Dr. Morgan Grams, assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and lead author of the study, “We found there was an increasing risk associated with an increasing dose. That suggests that perhaps this observed effect is real.”
For the study, researchers looked at self-reported data from more than 10,000 PPI users taking part in a national study on hardening of the arteries. The researchers also examined data on outpatient proton pump inhibitor prescriptions among nearly 250,000 patients in a Pennsylvania health care system.
PPI users in both groups were more likely to have pre-existing health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart problems, according to the study. In both groups, researchers associated use of the heartburn medications with an increased risk of CKD over a period of 10 years.
The study also compared people who took PPIs once per day to those that took them twice. Twice-daily use was associated with a 46% increased risk of chronic kidney disease, compared to a 15% increased risk among once daily users.
How Do PPIs Damage the Kidneys?
It is still unclear exactly how PPIs affect the kidneys, but there are several leading theories, according to Grams. The drugs can cause a drop in levels of magnesium, which could damage the kidneys. The kidneys may also become progressively damaged if patients suffer repeated bouts of acute kidney inflammation due to PPI use.
Heartburn Meds Overprescribed, May Cause Long-term Side Effects
Proton pump inhibitors are used by millions of Americans each year, but as many as 70% of these prescriptions are handed out inappropriately, and 25% of long-term users could stop taking the medications without suffering increased symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux, according to the JAMA study. PPI use has previously been linked to short-term kidney problems such as acute kidney disease (AKI) and inflammatory kidney disease, but the new study shows an association between he drugs and chronic kidney disease, in which the kidneys lose their ability to filter blood and toxins effectively.
PPIs vs. H2 Blockers
The JAMA study compared PPI users to patients who took another type of heartburn medication called H2 blockers (Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac). Both patient groups tended to be equally unhealthy, but PPI users had a 39% increased risk of CKD, according to the research.
To avoid the risk of kidney problems, doctors may be inclined to prescribe H2 blockers instead of PPIs. “To me, this is a cheaper, safer alternative that might work as well with some patients,” said Dr. Arun Swaminath, director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Do I Have a Dexilant Kidney Failure Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Dexilant lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new kidney failure cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you suffered kidney problems from Dexilant, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.