Could Your Heartburn Medication Be Causing Chronic Kidney Disease?
Nexium. Prevacid. Prilosec. What do you do when you have persistent heartburn? Take one of these pills (also known as a proton pump inhibitor), as prescribed by your doctor and recommended by the manufacturer. But there’s a problem, and it’s affecting millions of people. These pills are being marketed and prescribed for occasional bouts of acid reflux, but they are not intended to be a “lifestyle pill” used everyday by people who want to do things like eat a spicier diet. They are only intended for short term use. Even so, the companies have marketed them in a way that makes these pills seem like they should be taken all the time.
What are the side effects of over-taking proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs? The worst injury they cause is a condition called Acute Interstitial Nephritis. AIN is caused exclusively by drugs like PPIS or NSAID use, and it can lead to chronic kidney disease and end stage renal failure. There are literally millions of people all over the world who are being over prescribed and over-treating with PPIs, and it’s got to stop.
The drug manufacturers have been especially culpable, but until we as patients and attorneys stand up in support of more accurate marketing and perhaps safer manufacturing, change may come slowly. In the meantime, check your own medication (Are you taking it only occasionally? Are you showing any odd signs of side effects?)—and talk to your doctor about the hazards of over-taking these medications. If you think you might have have been wronged, contact Oxner + Permar so that we can help you determine the feasibility of a case.
What Are Proton Pump Inhibitors?
Proton pump inhibitors, otherwise known as PPIs, are medications used to treat heartburn. The most common of these are Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec, which have been both prescribed and given over the counter for years.
PPIs are designed to prevent excess stomach acid to relieve patients from heartburn and damage to the esophagus. Unfortunately, these medications also prevent the body from being able to absorb some of the nutrients that it needs, such as magnesium. Without magnesium, kidneys cannot function properly.
What Are The Potential Injuries?
Unfortunately, long-term use of PPIs can lead to kidney failure in the form of Chronic Kidney Disease. Recent scientific studies have demonstrated that PPIs can increase the risk of kidney disease by as much as 20%-50%.
What Is The Legal Status?
Because of the nature and widespread use of PPIs, lawsuits are being filed all over the country. The lawsuits will take the approach that neither patients nor doctors were advised of the high level of risk associated with the drug. If you or a loved one has experienced the negative effects of a PPI, contact Oxner + Permar for a free consultation. We are always here to make wrongs, right.