Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medications are commonly prescribed to individuals with heartburn and acid reflux disease. These drugs work by blocking acid buildup in the stomach. However, they also inhibit the absorption of vital minerals, which may lead to serious side effects including chronic kidney disease (CKD), heart attack, bone fractures and more.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one developed kidney disease, nephritis, renal failure or other kidney damage after taking a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) heartburn medication, 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.
Update: PPI Heartburn Medicines Linked to Dermatological Reactions, Study Finds
October 23, 2017 – A case report presented at this year’s meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology found that the proton pump inhibitors pantoprazole (Protonix) and lansoprazole (Prevacid) were linked to 2 distinct dermatological reactions. The case involved a 32-year-old man who was initially prescribed pantoprazole after presenting with dyspepsia-like symptoms.
What are Proton Pump Inhibitors?
PPIs are widely prescribed for the treatment of various acid-peptic disorders including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory druginduced gastropathy. These drugs work by reducing the production of acid by blocking the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid. This reduction of acid prevents ulcers and allows any existing ulcers to heal.
PPI Drug List
- Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium)
- Aciphex (rabeprazole)
- Protonix (pantoprazole)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Zegerid (omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate)
- Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)
- Prilosec (omeprazole)
- Vimovo (esomeprazole and naproxen)
What’s the Problem?
Long-term use of PPI medications may cause problems with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, magnesium and other vital nutrients. Patients who take the drugs for an extended period of time (typically over one year) are at risk of suffering kidney damage, bone fractures / breaks and other serious side effects.
Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Side Effects
- Acute interstitial nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys)
- Acute kidney injury
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
- Kidney failure (renal failure)
- Cardiac disorders
- Heart attack
- Bone fractures (hip fracture, wrist fracture, spine fracture)
- Broken bones
- Low magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia)
- Gut infections
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Severe allergic reactions
- And more
PPIs and Kidney Disease
Due to their ability to block the secretion of acid into the stomach, proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease, according to a January 2016 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. For the study, researchers looked at the medical records of over 10,000 patients treated in community-based settings, and found a 20-50% increased risk of kidney disease among than those who did not take them. The association also turned up when they examined the records of more than 248,000 people treated in a Pennsylvania hospital system.
On May 25, 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) published information regarding the increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine with high doses or long-term use of PPIs. The product labeling on such medications was ordered to be changed to describe this possible increased risk. The Administration’s decision to revise the labeling of PPIs was reportedly based on the review of several epidemiological studies that reported an increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist and spine in patients using proton pump inhibitors.
PPI Kidney Injury Suits Centralized in New Jersey
August 4, 2017 – The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on Wednesday ordered that all federally-filed 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 it’s 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.
Study Finds Increased Risk of Death with PPI Heartburn Medications
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.
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.
Study Links PPIs to Increased Stroke Risk
November 16, 2016 – A study presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA) in New Orleans found that proton pump inhibitors increased a user’s overall risk of stroke by 21%. However, this risk appears to be largely driven by patients who take high doses of the medications. At the highest dose, stroke risk ranged from 30% with Prevacid to 94% with Protonix, according to the study.
Study Links PPI Use to C. Diff Infections
September 6, 2016 – Proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of Clostridium difficile (“C. diff”) infections, according to a new study published in the journal Gut and Liver. Out of 1,005 patients — 444 took PPIs and 561 took H2-blockers (Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet) — 38 (03.8%) were diagnosed with a stress-ulcer-related C. diff infection. However, the patients who took PPIs were at a significantly increased risk of developing the infection. Specifically, a total of 6.7% PPI users were diagnosed with a C. diff infection, compared to just 1.8% of those who used H2-blockers.
PPIs Linked to Low Magnesium Levels in Dialysis Patients, Study Finds
July 13, 2016 – Use of proton pump inhibitors has been linked to low serum magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia), which in the presence of inflammation are associated with increased 1-year mortality risk, according to a new study published in Hemodialysis International. Researchers looked at data on 399 dialysis patients, 243 of whom were being treated with PPIs, and found that mean serum magnesium levels were significantly lower in PPI users compared to non-users (2.39 vs. 2.56 mg/dL).
PPI Heartburn Drugs Overused in Patients with GI Bleeds, Study Finds
August 25, 2016 – Up to 65% of patients with gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding receive IV infusions of proton pump inhibitors even when guidelines recommend against their use, according to a new study presented at the 2016 Digestive Disease Week. The inappropriate use of PPIs increases the cost and decreases patient comfort and mobility, according to the study. The researchers said that patients with a low-risk ulcer or another type of lesion causing upper GI bleeding should be given an oral proton pump inhibitor or an intermittent dose instead of a continuous IV.
PPIs Inappropriately Prescribed with Steroids, Study Finds
April 13, 2016 – PPI prophylaxis is routinely — and unnecessarily — recommended for patients taking corticosteroids without concomitant NSAID use, according to a study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers found that these prescriptions are not only inappropriate, based on a review of literature indicating that peptic ulcers are not a cause of concern in this scenario, but also potentially dangerous to the patient. Among other outcomes, proton pump inhibitor hypersensitivity can lead to angiodema, anaphylaxis, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and cutaneous reactions.
Do I have a Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in proton pump inhibitor lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new kidney damage cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you suffered any form of kidney damage after taking a proton pump inhibitor heartburn drug, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.