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Lawsuit Over Bone Deterioration, Fractures from Nexium Filed by 35 People

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A complaint has been filed against AstraZeneca in Texas by 35 people who allege that they suffered bone deterioration or unexpected fractures from side effects of Nexium, a popular heartburn drug.

The Nexium lawsuit was filed last week in Harris County District Court against the drug maker and a Houston-area sales manager, alleging that despite knowledge that Nexium could cause bones to deteriorate and break, the medication was sold without adequate warnings for consumers.

Among plaintiffs on the complaint are 34 women and one 9 year old boy who allege that they experienced bone problems from Nexium after using the prescription strength proton pump inhibitor (PPI) for treatment of heartburn, acid reflux, ulcers or inflammation of the esophagus.

Nexium (esomeprazole) is AstraZeneca’s best selling drug and the third best-selling medication in the world, with over $5.2 billion in sales in 2008. The medication works by reducing acid in the stomach, but the complaint alleges that Nexium prevents calcium absorption, which can cause bones to deteriorate and eventually fracture or break.

According to the complaint, Nexium caused the fracture of various bones among the different plaintiffs, including the foot, ankle, leg, arm, hand, knee and fractured vertebrae in the back or neck. Several of the plaintiffs suffered a Nexium fracture with no apparent trauma or fall, resulting in surgery or permanent injury in many cases.

Bone density scans revealed bone deterioration for many of the women and some have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, despite no family history of the condition.

In May 2010, the FDA warned that there may be an increased risk of bone fractures from Nexium and other similar medications, which are part of a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

The FDA required an update to the warning label about the risk of fractures from Nexium, and similar warnings were added to other drugs in the class, including Aciphex, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, Vimovo and Zegerid.

In March 2011, the FDA updated its Nexium fracture warning, saying that the bone fractures appeared to be linked to high doses over a long period of time. Over-the-counter versions of the drugs did not appear to be affected.

According to allegations in the lawsuit over Nexium, studies as early as 2006 suggested that the drug may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, reducing hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which speeds up bone loss and leads to an increased number of fractures. Plaintiffs point to at least six studies that have found the risk of fractures significantly increased for patients over 50 years old who took a prescription strength proton pump inhibitor like Nexium, or took any PPI for more than year.

A similar Nexium fracture lawsuit was filed last month in federal court in Texas by a woman fro Ohio, who alleged that she suffered a broken leg from Nexium bone deterioration.

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19 comments

  1. Karen Reply

    I have been on Nexium for over a year now and since then I have had a few problems such as lower back pain and other pain including the bones in my feet and ankles. I am Currently waiting for my doctor to approve me to get and MRI done on my neck and back I also have neck pain this all has just started getting really bad in the last few weeks.

  2. Carole Reply

    I have been on Nexium for about 4 years. At first I taking one a day then for about 3 years I was taking 2 a day as my Dr. prescribed. I have had a bone density test done 2 years ago which I was losing bone mass. The Dr. still had me taking twice a day since then. I finally just stoped taking Nexium on my own about 3 or 4 months ago. I feel it was making me have acid reflux, because since I have not taken it I no longer have acid reflux. When I was on I had it really bad. I had to sleep in a recliner. I am going to have another bone density test this summer and see if I have lost more.

  3. Neal Reply

    I see your having pain from your back fractures and they are getting worse, let me tell you that you have no idea how bad it will become, I had a like problem as yours and I am to the point that I cannot get out of bed without taking a pain pill. I had diarrhea once and could not get out of bed quick enough to prevent an accident. I am currently 100% disabled and will never work another day for the rest of my life. I cannot walk more than a few feet or without assistance, and out of the 258 attorneys i have contacted, none of them would take the case without several thousand dollars up front, something I can no longer afford. I had my retirement planned to be comfortable but this has ripped that right out from under me so now i will have a life of pain and inactivity, not at all what I wanted when I retired.
    Good luck with your pain but just to let you know it never stops getting worse.

  4. joe Reply

    I have been takeing Nexium for about 6 years. A year ago I had necrosis. Bone deteration. I ended up haveing a total hip replacement. I went threw hell. I will be doing more reasearch on this subject.

  5. Emil Reply

    I have been on ppi’s for years. 5 years ago, I was put on nexium twice a day. I’ve spent the last 3 years trying to figure out why my spine is disintigrating. Multiple doctors , MRI’s, and dexa scans have found nothing other than detiorization. My recent MRI shows severe deterization, one vertibrae is completely gone and several others are on the way. It appears the deteriorization continues even after the drug is stopped. I have before, durring, and after MRI’s and DEXA scans. I am now at the point of needing in home care and can do little for myself. Not one of the many doctors had a clue either and it appears using it twice a day greatly increases the damage. Please note that I have been on bone building drugs and taking high quality calcium suplements with all of the requisite co-factors for bone building the entire time. I strongly suspect that the drug manfacturer pushed the twice a day dosing to increase profits as I did not see any difference between once and twice aday usage other than it destroyed my spine.

  6. nic Reply

    I’m so sorry to see so much pain,to see so much suffering leading to a horrible life and a terrible death and how it affects family and friends and the terrible influence and example it is to other countries we want to be compastionate to all , due to neglect and apathy and greed by Doctors, health care professionals,[ so called,CARE?!] insurance co.,s
    pharmacutial companies who push drugs knowing full well the harm they cause, people who study medicine and not healing,those who put bandages the hurry patience out to make up money for what the HMO’s, insurance co.,s strip from well most are just pigs, sorry!!!
    I’m suffering the affects of several years on nexium degenerative disk ,bone and joint disease stenosis syrinx myomalacia. health care in this country is a genacide program aimed @ those w/ no and or inadaquite insurance.people are going to and are so mad that they stand up against this corperate governments war on the poor!!!
    most have paid in to a social safety net to make sure our life support system are there for all clean air, h2o, food source, shelter, protection,health care education ,!!! if the greedy apathtic money hoarders, those who don’care how it hurts all of life the polluters,
    should pay for the health care for all they affected our life suport systems,run away soft tissue diseases,ie breast testical colon lung ect., immune system disorders, they can pay fairly to clean up the environment ,health care and so on they can pay w/out passing on the cost to us all they can do it they might have to do w/ millions and not billions.trillions to live SORRY they should be made to spend time in prison for what they’ve done to us and all of our planet!!!
    and I believe if they don’t they will pay in ways they would rather not
    so many people talking about what they would sacrifice to see a better life for all

  7. Denise Reply

    I have been on Nexium for many years back in 2008 I started with severe low back pain. MRI showed herniated disks and mix of other dad things for the spine. I have since had two back surgeries to no avail. I now currently seeing a pian mgmt doctor and have chronic pain all day, every day. I am taking strong pain meds. and I am trying to go out on on a disability with my pension. I am 42 years old and this is not how I wanted my life to be. I suffer sever depresion and anixiety because of this and suicidal thoughts alot. My life is ruined, my husbands life is also ruined. I am an entirely different person than I was in 2008. I don’t know if Nexium did this, but if it did I hope they will pay big time. My pain and suffering will never get better.

  8. Phyliss Reply

    I have been on Nexium for several years. Last March 12 marked 1 year since I had fractured my L. femur. I was told by my Doctor that I had to have osteoprosis or my f x. would not have been as it was. Now after a year + I still am unable to walk without assist. After going on 2 years I am still having severe pain at times . The pain is eased with pain meds but never completely eased. I still am walking with a walker. Am unable to walk for any distance or time.

  9. Herschel Reply

    To Phyliss please explain to me about Nexium and fracture of the femur and your walking. I have been taking nexium for about 8 yrs. Thanks

  10. G.I. Reply

    I have been taking nexium 40 mg since 2005,by 2006 i broke my back multiple level.then after broke my neck multiple level.seen multiple spine doctors and currently on multiple treatment year round.one of the spine doctor said that i am losing fluid in my spine.last month i went accross nexium warning and started to taper my dose and finally off about 3 weeks ago.it was very difficult ,felt like impossible to stop taking nexium and i am starting to have problems with my bowel movement that is very painful which never had before and nearly fainted last sunday due to pain.

  11. Rose Reply

    I have been on Prevacid, Prilosec, and currently taking Nexium. I have osteponenia, cervical spondolosis and another spine condition as well at the age of 42. I have taken the above medicaines to treat my GERD/ ulder. To find out that these medicines may have cause these other problems on me is a great concern right now.

  12. Joan Reply

    Nexium is not only doing damage to your bones It also is doing damage to your tongue. I was put on Nexium back in 2007 and after being on It for a few months My tongue became very dark brown dried up and grew hair like growth on It. I went to many Doctors and Even Dentist. I was told It was something called hairy tongue I was gave tons Of liquid medicin to rinse with and even put on antibiotics nothing helped. I lived with this condition since 2007.

    I just stopped taking the Nexium because my Insurance stopped paying for It. I stopped It On Jan27/2012 and now the color has gotten better but I have damage to the tongue It’s very dry cracked and looks terrible! And It has taken a toll on me mentally. Plus I do have bad disk in my back and neck and bone loss and I had none of this until I started taking Nexium!!

    Just yesterday Febuary 3/2012 I went back to my Doctor to show him my tongue since I stopped taking the nexium. And My Doctor said he can’t rule out that the Nexium damaged my tongue he said It looks like The Nexium is the cause he said he wants me back every few weeks to keep an eye on it. If It gets even better then it is now he said he will say for sure it was the Nexium.

    I called the F D A today Feburary 3/ 2012 I told them about this problem they are mailing me a Med alert form to fill out well I know that Nexium caused this medical problem. And I just wanted the public to be aware of It just incase someone else out there is going through the same thing and they are on Nexium.

  13. Nancy Reply

    4/24/13

    About a 1 1/2yrs ago I started having severe neck problems. After months of seeing my doctor and finally getting a MRI I was diagnosed with deterioration in the top two disks in my neck, severe arithritis and spurs. I was told this is a rare place to see this. I’ve seen four different doctors (my internist, pain management doctors and epidurals, a nuro doc who said he could not help me (actually I just saw his assistant) I had some questions for him but did not get to see him but they sent me to another group of pain management docs who are really good but nothing has helped.. The location is not easy to get to and and I have not been without pain for over a year. Anti inflammation drugs don’t really help much–it all starts again every morning. I”m tired by noon–pain does that.I’ve been in physical therapy all this time too. I took Nexium for years for my stomach. No one should take it, ever. I just don’t know what to do. I feel it is affecting my head too.

  14. LEROY Reply

    nexium does good, but the worse medicine you can take.if you can ..find something else..

  15. Brenda Reply

    I took nexium for four or five years as directed, 40mg once daily, then in june 2011 for no reason, no fall I started having pain in my left foot and my right hip, for awhile I thought I had probably been bit by a spider, and I thought I had a pulled groin in the right , pain got so bad that I ask my Doctor if he could run some more test. My foot was broken, and an MRI showed a hip fracture. The pain got horrible and I ended up having hip surgery. then I broke the right foot in 2 places and the same ankle,for no apparent reason.I don\’t know how you could break bones and not know how, but I,m living proof 4months latter in Nov, 2011 I tripped on a throw rug and fell to my knees on carpet and had a compound fracture of my left femur, I was alone and hurt so bad, I had to pull myself, by using furniture on the other side to get to a phone.as I moved I could feel bleeding and the left knee felt like bones were slipping off ,I tried to keep the left leg on top of the right one. I believed I wouldnot be found til Monday and this happened on Saturday night around 10pm. I though I woul be found dead, when I finally reache a phone I called my husband and hecalled an ambulance. I was crying and screaming so loud, even in the hostipal.worse time,when they moved me from one bed to the Xray table and back ,nothing seemed to help the pain. I was sent to Oklahoma City, to McBride hospital for surgery.and 3 weeks in in hospital physical therapy. I had to have around 6 to 8 pillows under my body when I set in a chair or the bed to get a little confort. My Doctor that did the surgery said you don\’t get that bad of fracture from falling to your knees, he said this is the kind of fracture you see in bad car recks. he told my neice my bones were like chalk. We hired my neice to take care of me for about 9 months. It was the worst pain I ever had Child birth wasn,t this bad and I had 3 children.. I had at home phycial therapy at home and the ouy patient for a good while.Its been nearly 2 years and my knee on that legg still hurts. The Doctor said you will probably never walk like you did before, boy was he right its horrible and sometimes I use a rollator. I later got an ankle break on my left foot and later was told I had a fractured pelvis and I had a broke rib. the femur was the only fracture that I knew how it happened. I have a broke toe on my right foot. I may be leaving something out but I think there were about 8 or 9 fractures. My whole life has changed, most of the time I walk like Hurman Munster,if I,m on my feet for a few hours, it hurts so bad. Noone can really know what I went through and what I,m still going through, I,m 66 now. I remember telling the Doctors and nurses at the hospital (PLEASE JUST LET ME DIE) I live in fear of whats next. I have to rest in bed most of the time. I have oestoprosis. Please don\’t take that stuff. I don\’t want to see any body go through what I did.

  16. Margie Reply

    Have been on Nexium for 15 plus years. In 2004, while holding my (at the time) 2 year old grand daughter and struggling to stay upright on the slope of a hill, I severely dislocated one ankle and fractured both bones in multiple places in /above the other ankle requiring surgery. Have problems with cervical discs, lumbar spine, fingers, wrists etc.
    For years prior to this I was an avid walker, which weight bearing exercise is good for bones to strengthen them.
    Seems to me it’s all about the money.

  17. Rebecca Reply

    I have been on Nexium for many years, truly don’t know how long, at least 10 years or more. Just had an MRI today, was told that I have moderate to severe stenosis in thoracic & lumbar spine, as well as pinched nerves. I am being referred to a pain management doctor that I had seen previously. He wanted to do steroid injections which I’m not to keen on. So, I am going to do some exploring to find some other suggestions, and or better answers. Out of all comments, no one has said what they are doing after stopping Nexium , for stomach,gerd issues.

  18. Gary Reply

    I HAVE BEEN TAKING GENERIC NEXIUM FOR ABOUT 10 YEARS. I WAS CRAWLING UNDER A HOUSE TO FIX A FRIENDS WATER HEATER ABOUT A YEAR OR LESS. I HAD KNEE PADS ON. SOMETHING BROKE ON MY RIGHT KNEE CAP. NEXT DAY RIGHT KNEE SWELLED UP VERY BAD AND WAS VERY HARD TO WALK ON IT. WENT TO DOCTOR AND HE DRAINED MY KNEE. STILL HURT BAD. SAW A SPECIALIST. HE GAVE INJECTION IN KNEE AND SAID THERE WAS NOTHING HE COULD DO. I WAS TOO YOUNG FOR SURGERY. GAVE ME A BRACE FOR KNEE. HURTS LIKE HELL FOR ABOUT THE PAST YEAR. I USE A CANE BUT DOES NOT HELP. PAIN IS ABOUT AN 11 FOR THE PAST YEAR.

  19. Joseph Reply

    I was put on Prilosec in about 2006, and took it daily for about 10 years. Now, they don’t recommend taking it for more than 2 weeks…

    In 2008, at age 40, I had my right hip replaced, and in 2010, my left. The cartilage in both joints had completely deteriorated prematurely.

    I have been told that the medicine I was on for so long may have contributed to the destruction of the cartilage, as the hip joints are very susceptible to calcium-leaching.

    Now, I am a big man, but my orthopedist stated this was not the reason for the premature failure of the joints.

    I have since found a natural remedy for the reflux, so no more Prilosec or nexium for me.

    I have wondered for some time if I have a case, I certainly had tons of pain, suffering, and recovery from surgery.

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