Proton pump inhibitor heartburn medications like Vimovo have been linked to serious side effects including chronic kidney disease, acute interstitial nephritis, renal failure, heart attack, bone fractures and more.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured by Vimovo, 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 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.
What is Vimovo?
Marketed by AstraZeneca, Vimovo was first approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2010 for the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Vimovo is a combination of the pain killer naproxen and esomeprazole magnesium, which is the active ingredient in the heartburn drug Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium). It is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication intended for use by those who have gastric ulcers, a common side effect of other drugs that treat those conditions.
What’s the Problem?
PPI heartburn medications like Vimovo may pose an increased risk for kidney disease, according to a Jan. 2016 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The researchers looked at more than 260,000 patients in 5 states and found that patients who took prescription PPI drugs were 20-50% more likely to develop kidney disease than patients who did not take the medications.
Kidney Disease Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of CKD may include:
- Appetite loss
- General ill feeling and fatigue
- Itching (pruritus) and dry skin
- Weight loss without trying to lose weight
Controlling blood pressure can help to slow the progression of kidney disease. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are used most often to treat CKD. The goal is to keep blood pressure at or below 130/80 mmHg. Additionally, making healthy lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, quitting smoking and eating meals that are low in fat and cholesterol can do wonders to help protect the kidneys.
Vimovo Side Effects
In addition to increasing the risk of kidney injury, Vimovo and other PPI heartburn medications may cause the following serious side effects in certain users:
- Cardiac disorders
- Heart attack
- Severe allergic reactions
- Bone fractures (hip fracture, wrist fracture, spine fracture)
- Broken bones
- Low magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia)
- Gut infections
- Erectile dysfunction (ED) in men
- And more
PPIs like Vimovo work by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. In 2009 alone, approximately 21 million PPI prescriptions were filled at retail pharmacies around the country. Unfortunately, studies have shown that the use of such medications may greatly increase the risk of a number of side effects including severe bone fractures of the wrist, hip and spine. Research indicates that Vimovo may weaken the dexterity of bones and allow minimal pressure to cause a fracture.
Vimovo & Hypomagnesemia
On March 2, 2011, the FDA announced that it was notifying the public and medical communities that PPI drugs like Vimovo may also cause low serum magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia) if taken for prolonged periods of more than one year. Low serum magnesium levels can result in a number of adverse side effects including muscle spasm (tetany), irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias), and convulsions. FDA recommends that doctors should consider obtaining serum magnesium levels prior to initiation of prescription PPI treatment in patients expected to be on these medications for longer than a year, as well as individuals who take PPIs in combination with drugs such as digoxin, diuretics or medications that may cause hypomagnesemia.
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.
Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Brain Problems, Study Finds
September 1, 2016 – PPIs like Vimovo may increase the risk of loss of brain function and fluid buildup in the abdomen, according to a recent study published in the journal Hepatology. The researchers found that 52% of patients used a proton pump inhibitor during clinical trials, and these patients had a 31% 1-year risk for loss of brain function (hepatic encephalopathy or “HE”).
“Our findings suggest that prescription of PPIs to patients with cirrhosis at risk of HE needs an appropriate indication,” said Dr. Gitte Dam at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, lead author of the study.
Vimovo linked to Stomach Infections
January 6, 2017 – People who use PPIs like Vimovo may be at an increased risk of developing severe gut infections, according to a new study. The research, published Thursday in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, found that among 565,000 adults, patients who took proton pump inhibitors had higher rates of infection with C. difficile and Campylobacter bacteria compared to those who didn’t use the drugs.
Vimovo Lawsuits May Be Consolidated in Louisiana
October 20, 2016 – Plaintiffs who suffered kidney damage from Vimovo and other proton pump inhibitors have requested a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for the complaints in the Middle District of Louisiana. It is expected that hundreds or even thousands of people across the U.S. will ultimately file PPI kidney injury lawsuits, warranting creation of the MDL. All of the complaints involve similar allegations that drugmakers failed to properly research their products or warn that long-term use may increase the risk of kidney damage.
Case Study Finds PPIs May Increase Risk of Rhabdomyolysis
September 26, 2016 – A new case study suggests that a skeletal muscle disorder known as rhabdomyolysis may be another potential side effect of PPI heartburn drugs. The study described a 45-year-old patient who developed the condition shortly after being treated with an intravenous dose of Nexium (esomeprazole) for chest pain. The findings were published last month in the journal Medicine.
Study Shows Heartburn Drugs Linked to Cardiovascular Complications
August 19, 2016 – Add cardiovascular complications in patients with heart disease to the growing list of potential health risks associated with PPIs like Vimovo. A recent study published in the International Journal of Cardiology linked prolonged PPI use to a worsening of red blood count indexes, lower weight and underutilization of cardioprotective medications. The research strengthened early studies which connected PPIs to poor cardiovascular outcomes.
Vimovo May Increase Kidney Disease Risk, Study Finds
April 14, 2016 – People who take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Vimovo may be at increased risk of developing kidney disease, a study published today in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) suggests. According to the research, proton pump inhibitor users were 26% more likely to suffer chronic kidney disease (CKD), and 96% more likely to develop kidney failure compared to patients who took histamine H2 receptor blockers.
Do I Have a Vimovo Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Vimovo lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently investigating potential settlements in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you were injured by the side effects of Vimovo or other heartburn medication, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a lawsuit and we can help.