PPIs and Kidney Disease
Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Protonix, and Dexilant are popular over-the-counter drugs that reduce the amount of gastric acid the stomach produces. Doctors commonly prescribe these drugs, classified as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), to patients with acid reflux and heartburn. Although PPIs have been in use since 1981, new scientific evidence suggests that these drugs are associated with severe and potentially deadly health problems.
Defective drugs like Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Protonix, and Dexilant have been linked to an increased risk of developing kidney disease. On February 22, 2017, Kidney International published research uncovering another severe flaw in how PPIs function. In a study of 125,000 patients, more than half of those who used PPIs and developed chronic kidney damage did not experience an early onset of serious symptoms. This means that PPI users may not be aware of their declining kidney function until it is too late. Other risks that result in kidney damage in those who use PPIs include:
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Acute Interstitial Nephritis
- Acute Kidney Injury
- End Stage Renal Disease or Dialysis
Patients currently taking PPIs need to be aware of these dangerous side effects and the possible kidney damage they can cause. Long-term users should periodically get their kidney functioning checked, as the symptoms associated with kidney disease may initially go unnoticed. To diagnose patients, doctors may examine creatine levels, age, race, and gender to calculate the effectiveness of kidney functioning. A computerized Tomography (CT) scan or ultrasound may be done to provide a visual image of the kidneys. Also, a biopsy test of kidney tissue can be performed to help diagnose the type and severity of the disease.
When the kidneys stop working, waste and excess fluids accumulate in the body, leading to the failure of other organ systems. Treatment plans for kidney problems are designed to control the cause of the disease. Doctors often advise both long-term and short-term PPI users to reduce or stop intake of these drugs over time. In some cases, lifestyle changes may reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn, eliminating the need to take PPIs.
If you or a loved one has experienced any of the above health problems with your kidneys while taking a PPI medication such as Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Protonix, or Dexilant, call The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529). The Yost Legal Group is made up of dedicated, compassionate attorneys that have extensive experience protecting the rights of those that have been injured by defective and dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.