Millions of people in the US suffer from acid reflux or GERD. And to relieve their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life a great many of them regularly take a proton pump inhibitor drug.
You may know these drugs by their brand names – Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec to name a few – and you may also be aware that forms of all three – and others – are available on an over the counter basis at your local drugstore, with no prescription needed.
The problem is that these PPI drugs may cause serious health problems if used on a long-term basis. These can include kidney disease, kidney failure and even death. At Baron & Budd we work with those affected by the side effects of PPI drugs so that they can obtain the compensation their health problems cause them to be entitled to. If you are one of these people, we may be able to help. To learn more, complete our online contact form or call (866) 347-7765 to speak to one of our experienced attorneys.
Why are PPI Lawsuits Being Filed?
The lawsuits being filed against the manufacturers of PPI drugs address the fact that these companies failed to properly warn both medical prescribers and patients of the risks of taking their drugs on a long-term basis. These drugs were designed only for short term use, but, many patients allege, this was not made clear to them. If it had been, they would not have risked potentially fatal kidney problems to relieve everyday heartburn.
There are a number of popular drugs that fall into the proton pump inhibitor class, including all of these:
*Over-the-counter and prescription drugs.
These drugs all work in the same way, they block enzymes in the stomach that can lead to increased acid production, which leads to acid reflux, GERD and, in more serious cases, the development of stomach ulcers.
Around 15 million Americans are prescribed a PPI by their doctor, but millions more obtain the drugs on an over the counter basis.
PPI Drugs and Kidney Problems
Just why PPI drugs can cause severe kidney problems is yet to be quite understood by researchers. One working theory is that they cause kidney inflammation. Another is that they increase the levels of magnesium in the body to the point where they begin to damage the kidneys. Whatever the reason, the general consensus in the medical research profession now is that the long-term use of proton pump inhibitors comes along with the risk of serious disease and kidney injury.
This has also long been the FDA’s official position, although even after taking that stance they still approved the over-the-counter versions of several of the most popular of the PPI medications.
Because of their easy availability, and the lack of clear warnings, at Baron & Budd we believe that the drug manufacturers need to answer for their actions, including offering an over the counter version of a medication known to have potentially very serious side effects. If your health has been affected by taking a PPI drug on a long-term basis we suggest that you contact us, we may be able to help. Simply call (866) 347-7765 or complete our online contact form to learn more.