Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) heartburn medications like Nexium (esomeprazole) and Prilosec (omeprazole) may increase the risk of infections from Clostridium difficile (“C. diff”) bacteria, according to a new study.
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.
What’s the Problem?
September 6, 2016 – For the study, which was published in the medical journal Gut and Liver, researchers noted that PPIs and H2-blockers (Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet) are commonly prescribed to critically ill patients for the treatment of complications from stress ulcers. This population is at an increased risk for these types of ulcers compared to the general population.
However, the study found that proton pump inhibitor use is a potential risk factor for C. diff infection. The researchers decided to investigate the issue closer by comparing PPIs to H2-blockers.
They looked at rates of C. diff infection in intensive care unit patients who were hospitalized for over 3 days from August 2005 to July 2012, and then traced those who were diagnosed with the infection while suffering from a stress ulcer.
Nearly 500,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with C. diff infections in 2011, with 29,000 dying within 30 days of the initial diagnosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). C. diff. has become the most common microbial cause of healthcare-related infections in American hospitals, occurring most often in patients who are taking antibiotics. The infection causes symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever and loss of appetite.
Out of 1,005 patients in the study — 444 took PPIs and 561 took H2-blockers — only 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.
“PPI therapy is associated with a higher risk of SUP-related CDI than H2RA therapy in critically ill patients, ” the researchers concluded.
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 injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you suffered any form of kidney damage from a PPI acid reflux drug, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.