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Published: May 1st, 2011
Side effects of Nexium, a blockbuster heartburn and acid reflux medication, have been linked to a potential increased risk of bone fractures and bone deterioration, which could leave users with serious and debilitating injuries.
NEXIUM LAWSUIT STATUS: Product liability lawyers are reviewing potential Nexium lawsuits for bone fractures or other bone problems suffered by users of the medication throughout the United States.
OVERVIEW: Nexium (esomeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) which is approved as a prescription strength medication for treatment of heartburn, acid reflux, ulcers and inflammation of the esophagus. The medication has been used by millions of people throughout the United States and is one of the top selling drugs in the world, with annual sales of over $5 billion.
Long term use of Nexium or use of the medication at higher doses has been linked to a possible risk of bone deterioration and fractures, especially among older women. Lawsuits allege that AstraZeneca should have known about the Nexium fracture risk for years, but failed to provide adequate warnings for consumers or the medical community.
NEXIUM BONE PROBLEMS: Nexium is part of a class of medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI), which work by reducing acid in the stomach. However, studies as early as 2006 suggested that the medications interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, which causes bone deterioration and may lead to eventual broken bones or fractures with little or no trauma at all.
In May 2010, the FDA warned that there may be increased risk of bone fracture from prescription strength heartburn drugs like Nexium. The FDA required an update to the warning label about the risk of fractures from Nexium and other drugs in the class, including Aciphex, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, Vimovo and Zegerid.
FDA investigators suspect that the risk of fractures is dose-specific and have not applied the Nexium bone fracture warning requirements to the over-the-counter versions of Nexium or similar PPIs.
Although multiple studies suggested that users may face an increased risk of bone problems from Nexium, AstraZeneca continued to market the medication without warning about the risk of bone deterioration, osteoporosis or fractures, according to allegations raised in several Nexium lawsuits filed by former users of the drug.