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Nexium Case Alleges Heartburn Drug Caused Kidney Failure

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson
  • 2 Comments
Nexium in Pharmacy

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As a result of the side effects of Nexium, a lawsuit filed this month against AstraZeneca indicates that a Louisiana woman has been left with kidney failure following consistent use of the heartburn drug for more than a year. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Alice Donald in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on December 22, alleges that the drug manufacturer failed to adequately warn consumers or the medical community about the impact Nexium has the kidneys, indicating that she never would have used the medication if the risks had been disclosed.

Donald was prescribed Nexium in September 2014, and states that she used it continuously until April 2016. The lawsuit indicates that the heartburn drug caused kidney failure to develop, leaving her with severe, permanent and disabling injuries.

The case comes amid growing concern over the risk of kidney damage from Nexium and other widely used proton pump inhibitors (PPI), following a series of studies published in recent years that suggest users may be more likely to develop acute kidney injury, acute interstitial nephritis, chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.

Nexium is the most widely used PPI medication on the market, which also includes blockbuster brands like Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Dexilant and others. Since the heartburn drugs are widely believed to be safe, many individuals remain on the medications for years with little attempt to reduce the need for the drugs. However, a growing number of health experts are now raising concerns about the wide-spread over use of the drugs.

The complaint raises allegations similar to those present in other Nexium cases, Prilosec cases, Protonix cases, Prevacid cases and Dexilant cases brought by individuals nationwide in recent months, indicating that the drug makers withheld information from consumers and the medical community.

It was not until December 2014 that the first warnings were added about the risk of kidney damage, indicating that the medications were associated with incidence of acute interstitial nephritis (AIN), which involves a sudden inflammation of the kidneys, which can lead to more severe problems.

This warning update was followed by a study published in the medical journal CMAJ Open in April 2015, which found that users may be 3 times more likely to suffer acute interstitial nephritis, and 2.5 times more likely to develop acute kidney injury, which involves an abrupt loss of kidney function.

Earlier this year, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine also found an increased risk of chronic kidney disease with the heartburn medications, indicating that users of Nexium, Prilosec and other PPI may be 50% more likely when compared to non-users.

These findings were supported by another study published in April 2016, in which researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs found that users of Nexium, Prilosec or other PPIs may be 96% more likely to develop kidney failure and 28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease after five years of use.

“Defendants knew or should have known about the correlation between the use of Nexium and the significantly increased risk of CKD and acute kidney injuries,” Donald’s lawsuit states. “Despite clear knowledge that Nexium causes a significantly increased risk of CKD and acute kidney injuries, Defendants continued to market and sell Nexium without warning consumers or healthcare providers of the significant risks of CKD and acute kidney injuries.”

As heartburn drug injury lawyers continue to review and file cases, it is expected that thousands of cases could be filed in the coming months.

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2 comments

  1. Lynn Reply

    I have been on Nexium, Omeprisol for 25-30 years.
    It has been a great aid in reducing my acid reflux!
    I would be willing to sign a statement to that affect.

  2. jeanne Reply

    Here is something that folks now taking proton pump inhibitors should try:
    1. Throw away the pills.
    2. Drink the water.
    3. Raise the head of your bed.

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