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Lawsuit Alleges Nexium Caused Acute Renal Failure

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson
  • 5 Comments

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AstraZenca’s decision to withhold information about the kidney risks associated with side effects of Nexium caused acute renal failure for an Alabama man, according to allegations raised in a product liability lawsuit filed this week. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Thomas Bridges in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, where hundreds of similar cases will be consolidated involving kidney problems caused by Nexium, Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors (PPI).

Bridges indicates that he began taking Nexium in 2010, after it was prescribed by his doctor. He continued to use the heartburn medication through 2014, according to the complaint. He later suffered acute renal failure. which he directly links to his use of Nexium.

The lawsuit indicates that Bridges never would have taken the drug and would have selected a safer alternative had AstraZeneca not hidden the kidney risks from consumers and the medical community.

“In omitting, concealing, and inadequately providing critical safety information regarding the use of Nexium to Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s healthcare providers, Defendants engaged in, and continue to engage in, conduct likely to mislead consumers, including Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s healthcare providers,” Bridges’ lawsuit states. “This conduct is fraudulent, unfair and unlawful.”

Nexium (esomeprazole) is one of the most recognized brand-name medications on the market in the United States, prescribed to millions of Americans for treatment of heartburn and acid reflux. It is part of a larger class of medications, known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which also includes the blockbuster treatments Prilosec, Protonix, Prevacid, Dexilant and others.

Since AstraZeneca has promoted their medication as safe and effective, and it is widely assumed to carry few serious side effects, many individuals remain on Nexium long-term, using the drug for years without any attempt to reduce reliance on the medication. However, following the publication of several studies in recent years, serious concerns have emerged about risks that users may be more likely to experience severe and potentially life-threatening kidney problems.

In an independent study published by the medical journal CMAJ Open in April 2015, researchers found that users of PPI medications were 3 times more likely to suffer acute interstitial nephritis, which involves inflammation of the kidney. In addition, the study found that users were 2.5 times more likely to develop acute kidney injury, which involves an abrupt loss of kidney function.

This research was followed by a study published last year in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine, which 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.

In April 2016, researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs found that users of Nexium, Prilosec or other PPIs may be 96% more likely to develop renal failure and 28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease after five years of use.

The case joins a growing number of other Nexium lawsuitsPrilosec lawsuitsProtonix lawsuitsPrevacid lawsuits and Dexilant lawsuits brought by individuals nationwide in recent months, each raising similar allegations that the drug makers withheld information about the risks associated with long-term use of the medications.

Given common questions of fact and law raised in the cases brought throughout the federal court system, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued an order earlier this month, consolidating all heartburn kidney lawsuits before one judge in New Jersey federal court for pretrial proceedings.

As heartburn drug injury lawyers continue to review and file cases in the coming months and years, it is expected that hundreds, if not thousands, of similar acute interstitial nephritis lawsuits may be filed over the failure to warn about the side effects of Nexium, Prilosec and other PPI medications.

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5 comments

  1. Cassandra Reply

    Taking Nexium for years now, more than five years!

  2. Bonnie Reply

    Cassandra, I took Nexium since 2003 till last year. I ended up having my right kidney removed and had lymphoma cancer in kidney. The attorneys said I didn’t have a case because I didn’t have renal failure. The only thing I could back track any of my problem to is Nexium. I asked my gastro many times?what are the side affects and he could not answer me!
    He told me ,what would be the side effects if you didn’t take it?
    So I have not taken nexium or any other drugs for acid reflex since the surgery and especially through chemo. My whole life has changed and I wonder if I will some day have renal failure due to one kidney?

  3. Tisha Reply

    Being taking Nexium for years

  4. Claudette Reply

    Been taking nexium now for 4 years, I rely on it so much that I’m afraid of letting it go. My heartburns get so bad that most of the name brands don’t work for me. Don’t know what to do, any suggestions from anyone?!

  5. Pat Reply

    Sounds like this guy is looking for a handout! I have taken Prilosec and Medium for years without any problems.

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