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Nexium Lawsuit

The heartburn medication Nexium (generic: esomeprazole magnesium) has recently been linked to chronic kidney disease, nephritis, renal failure, stomach cancer, and other serious side effects.

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What is Nexium?

Manufactured by AstraZeneca, Nexium belongs to a group of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) which are used for the short-term treatment of acid reflux disease, which can cause heartburn. PPIs work by decreasing the amount of acid in the stomach, thereby eliminating heartburn and decreasing the occurrence of ulcers. Nexium is also commonly used to reduce ulcers caused by the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

PPIs May Increase Risk of Kidney Disease: Study

In February 2016, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that proton pump inhibitor drugs may significantly increase the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The researchers looked at data on more than 10,000 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, and determined that PPI users had a 45% increased risk of developing CKD compared to patients who did not take the medications. When the figures were adjusted for demographics, socioeconomic and clinical variables, a 50% increased risk was detected.

Kidney Disease Symptoms

  • Changes in urination
  • Swelling in the ankles, legs, feet and/or hands
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rash / itching
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling cold
  • Metallic taste in mouth / ammonia breath
  • Dizziness / trouble concentrating
  • Leg / flank pain

How Nexium Causes Kidney Damage

Nexium prevents the overproduction of stomach acid by turning off some of the acid producing pumps in the stomach while allowing others to operate normally. Less creation of acid means no more heartburn or damage to the esophagus, but this same mechanism of action decreases the body’s ability to absorb vital nutrients such as magnesium, which is vital to ensure the kidneys are functioning properly. This process takes time, and most patients take Nexium for at least 3 months before symptoms begin to appear. In the meantime, potentially irreversible damage is being done to the kidneys.

Nexium Heart Attack

A study published in the June 2015 issue of PLOS ONE found an increased risk of heart attack among patients who took Nexium and other PPI heartburn medications. The research included conclusions from 2 separate studies that looked at the medical records of nearly 3 million patients, and determined that PPI users have a 16 to 21% increased risk of heart attack compared to patients who did not take the medications.

Nexium Side Effects

Nexium has been linked to the following serious side effects:

  • Acute interstitial nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys)
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Kidney failure (end-stage renal disease or ERSD)
  • Cardiac disorders
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Bone fractures (hip fracture, wrist fracture, spine fracture)
  • Broken bones
  • Low magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia)
  • Stomach cancer
  • Gut infections
  • Clostridium difficile infection
  • Community-acquired pneumonia
  • Dementia
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Severe allergic reactions

Other, less severe side effects of Nexium may include:

  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Abdominal pain
  • Allergic reactions
  • Chest pain
  • Dark urine
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fever

FDA Warning on Nexium

Due to the strong link between heartburn drugs and various types of bone fractures, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced in May 2010 that the packaging of Nexium would be required to carry an enhanced warning regarding the risks of these side effects. The label change for the drugs came after the FDA looked at a number of studies that linked the medications to increased bone fracture risks. The warning on the FDA website states:

“Be aware that an increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine has been reported in some studies of patients using proton pump inhibitors. The greatest increased risk for these fractures was seen in patients who receive high doses of these medications or use them longer (a year or more).”

Nexium Could Double Your Risk of Stomach Cancer, Study Finds

December 1, 2017 – long-term use of proton pump inhibitors like Nexium may double your risk of stomach cancer, a new study published in the journal Gut has found. The researchers also determined that using PPIs for more than 3 years increases the stomach cancer risk 8-fold.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Kidney Injury Suits Consolidated in New Jersey

August 4, 2017 – The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on Wednesday ordered that all federal lawsuits involving kidney injuries from PPI heartburn drugs will be consolidated in the District of New Jersey for pretrial handling. The panel’s ruling marked an about-face from its previous opinion on the matter, having in February rejected a bid to create an MDL. The reason for the change was due to the litigation’s substantial increase in size since the initial ruling, and because 2 defendants who previously opposed centralization — AstraZeneca and Pfizer — are now in support of it, according to JPML.

Heartburn Medications Linked to Increased Risk of Death

July 5, 2017 – Proton pump inhibitors have been linked to a 25% greater risk of death compared to patients who took H2 blockers, according to a study published Monday in BMJ. The study also found that PPI use was linked to a 15% increased death rate compared to patients who took another kind of acid suppressor other than H2 blockers, and that the death rate was 23% higher among PPI users compared to people who took no such medications.

Louisiana Nexium Lawsuit Survives Motion to Dismiss

April 21, 2017 – A Louisiana woman who allegedly developed kidney failure after taking Nexium will be allowed to pursue defect and warning claims, after the judge overseeing the case turned back a defense bid to have the lawsuit dismissed. In an Order issued March 22, the judge upheld claims of defect in construction or composition and design defect, ruling that Plaintiff Alice Donald had sufficiently pleaded that Nexium was defective in formulation and that there were other safer heartburn medications available on the market.

PPIs Linked to Increased Risk of Pneumonia in Dementia Patients

April 5, 2017 – Dementia patients who take proton pump inhibitors have an 89% increased risk of developing pneumonia compared to dementia patients who don’t use the medications, according to a study published last month in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Independent risk factors for pneumonia included age, male gender, underlying cerebrovascular disease, chronic pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, and antipsychotic use.

PPIs Linked to Increased Risk for Heart Failure, Death

March 23, 2017 – Proton pump inhibitor heartburn medicines have been linked to an increased risk for heart failure and death in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a recent study published in PLOS ONE. The researchers found that PPIs are commonly used to prevent complications in CAD patients treated with chronic antiplatelet therapy (aspirin, Plavix, Effient); however, when used in this capacity, proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of adverse health consequences including pneumonia, micronutrient deficiencies, and osteoporosis-related fractures.

Heartburn Drugs linked to Stomach Infection

January 6, 2017 – People who take proton pump inhibitor heartburn medications may be at an increased risk of developing stomach infections, according to a new study. The research, published Thursday in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, found that among a cohort of 565,000 adults, patients who took PPIs had higher rates of infection with C. difficile and Campylobacter bacteria than those who did not take the medications.

Nexium Side Effects May Cause Rhabdomyolysis After One Dose, Study Finds

September 26, 2016 – The side effects of Nexium, applied intravenously in a single dose, caused a man to develop a severe muscle problem called rhabdomyolysis, according a case report published in last month’s edition of the journal Medicine. Doctors from Gyeongsang National University Hospital in South Korea report that the 45-year old patient suffered signs of muscular breakdown after being given an intravenous dose of Nexium.

Nexium Lawsuit Filed in New York

September 14, 2016 – A man from Illinois who alleges he suffered kidney disease from using Nexium has filed a products liability lawsuit against AstraZeneca in the Eastern District of New York. Plaintiff George Mullen claims the drugmaker failed to adequately warn about the risk of kidney damage from Nexium despite having knowledge about these dangers. He is seeking in excess of $10 million in damages.

Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Brain Problems, Fluid Buildup

September 1, 2016 – PPIs like Nexium may increase the risk for loss of brain function (hepatic encephalopathy) and fluid buildup in the abdomen (ascites), according to a new study published in the journal Hepatology. The researchers found that 52% of test subjects took a proton pump inhibitor at some point during clinical trials, and these patients had a 31% cumulative 1-year risk for hepatic encephalopathy. The study’s authors warned that doctors should exercise caution when prescribing PPIs to patients with risk factors for cirrhosis.

PPI Heartburn Drugs Linked to Cardiovascular Complications

August 19, 2016 – Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors may cause cardiovascular complications in patients with heart disease, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Cardiology. PPI users were 6 times more likely to suffer from anemia and a worsening metabolic profile, the study found. The researchers concluded that prolonged use of proton pump inhibitors was associated with a worsening of red blood count indexes, lower weight and underutilization of cardioprotective medications.

Tennessee Man Alleges Life-Threatening Injuries from Nexium

July 6, 2016 – A man from Tennessee who allegedly developed acute interstitial nephritis and chronic active interstitial nephritis has filed a lawsuit against AstraZeneca. Plaintiff Charles Bowers began taking the drug in 2003 and continued through 2008, after which he was diagnosed with both forms of nephritis. As a result of his conditions, Bowers must undergo dialysis treatment and needs a kidney transplant in order to survive, according to the suit.

Nexium Prematurely Ages Blood Vessels, Study Finds

May 12, 2016 – Nexium may cause silent damage to blood vessels which may increase the risk of heart attack and/or stroke, according to a study published in Circulation Research. Researchers associated esomeprazole — the active ingredient in Nexium — with the faster aging of blood vessel cells, which may damage these cells’ ability to perform their usual tasks, making those who take the antacid more likely to suffer a heart attack or a stroke.

“Our finding that the lining of blood vessels is impaired by proton pump inhibitors is a unifying mechanism for the reports that PPI users are at increased risk for heart attack, stroke and renal failure,” said John Cooke, Houston Methodist Research Institute chair of cardiovascular sciences and lead author of the study. “They {PPIs} are being used ubiquitously, for long periods of time. They aren’t being used as originally approved.”

Nexium Linked to Kidney Failure, Study Finds

April 14, 2016 – Long-term use of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) acid reflux drugs like Nexium may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and renal failure, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JSAN). Researchers compared PPIs to histamine H2 receptor blockers (Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac), and identified a 28% increased risk of CKD for proton pump inhibitor users. The study reinforces prior research indicating a link between PPIs and kidney damage.

Has a Class Action Been Filed?

A consumer fraud class action lawsuit was filed against AstraZeneca alleging deceptive marketing practices with Nexium. In the complaint, entitled Commonwealth Care Alliance v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals L.P., Docket No. 05-0269, plaintiffs allege the drugmaker violated a Massachusetts state law by deceptively marketing Nexium as superior to Prilosec (generic: omeprazole). The lawsuit asked the Court to order AstraZeneca to pay restitution to purchasers for amounts they allegedly overpaid, to award money damages, or to grant other relief.

Do I have a Nexium Lawsuit?

The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Nexium lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently investigating potential injury and death cases in all 50 states.

Again, if you were injured by Nexium, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

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