Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) heartburn medications like Nexium (esomeprazole) and Prilosec (omeprazole) may increase the risk for loss of brain function and fluid buildup in the abdomen, according to a new study.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered kidney damage after taking a PPI acid reflux drug, 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.
What’s the Problem?
September 1, 2016 – The study, conducted by a research team led by Dr. Gitte Dam at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark and published in last month’s issue of Hepatology, looked at 895 patients with cirrhosis and ascites — a fluid buildup in the abdomen.
The researchers’ initial objective was to determine the efficacy of a treatment for ascites. However, they found that proton pump inhibitors may cause abdominal fluid accumulation and hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a loss of brain function that occurs when the liver is unable to remove toxins from the bloodstream.
“The findings that PPI use is a risk factor for [spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP)] and that SBP is a risk factor for HE do provide support for the hypothesis that PPIs contribute to the development of HE by promoting translocation of gut bacteria,” the researchers said.
Results indicated that 52% of patients in the study took PPIs at some point during clinical trials, and these patients had a 31% cumulative 1-year risk for HE. Patients who did not take PPIs had a 25% risk, the study found.
The study’s authors said the results suggest that doctors should exercise caution when prescribing proton pump inhibitors to patients with risk factors for cirrhosis.
“Our findings suggest that prescription of PPIs to patients with cirrhosis at risk of HE needs an appropriate indication,” the researchers said.
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 PPI 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 were injured by PPI side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.