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The findings of a new study suggest that the side effects of Nexium, Prilosec and similar heartburn drugs may make it harder for doctors to successfully treat Helicobacter pylori infections, which can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
According to a report published this month in the The Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, Japanese researchers warn that pre-treatment with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) decreases the effectiveness a standard Helicobacter pylori eradication technique, which typically involves the use of the drug vonoprazan.
Researchers conducted a study involving 174 patients who underwent primary H. pylori eradication therapy. According to the findings, the success rate overall was 83%. However, pre-treatment with Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and similar drugs appear to decrease the risk of success.
The medications are part of a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI), which are regularly used by millions of Americans for treatment of gastric ulcers and symptoms of heartburn.
“In conclusion, pre-treatment with PPIs before eradication therapy decreases the rate of successful eradication,” the researchers determined. “Therefore, it may be desirable to discontinue pre-treatment with PPIs prior to eradication therapy, because of the potential to improve the rate of successful eradication.”
The study comes several months after other researchers warned late last year about a possible link between PPI heartburn drugs and gastric cancer, particularly among those with H. pylori infections. That study found that there was an increased risk of stomach cancer even after patients received H. pylori infection treatments.
According to those findings, users of Nexium, Prilosec and other similar PPIs faced more than doubled the risk of developing stomach cancer, while other types of heartburn drugs did not carry the same potential side effects. The study also found that the risk of PPI-associated gastric cancer kept increasing the longer people used the drugs. After three years of use, the risk was increased more than eight-fold.
Nexium, Prilosec Lawsuits
Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, Prevacid, Dexilant and other PPI are widely marketed as safe and effective, leading most users to continue taking the medications for years, even when there is little medical need. However, a number of recent studies have highlighted serious health risks associated with the use of PPI, including acute kidney injuries, chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.
There are currently several thousand Nexium lawsuits, Prilosec lawsuits, Prevacid lawsuits, Protonix lawsuits and claims over other PPIs pending in courts nationwide, each raising similar allegations that the drug makers failed to adequately warn about the risk of kidney damage associated with the long-term use of the medications.
With the growing evidence about the potential risk of stomach cancer from Nexium, Prilosec and other PPI, it is likely that a new category for the litigation may begin to emerge.
Given similar questions of fact and law raised in the complaints, consolidated pretrial proceedings have been established in the federal court system, where all lawsuits are centralized before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in the District of New Jersey to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.
As heartburn drug kidney injury lawyers continue to review and file lawsuits against the manufacturers for failure to warn about potential risks associated with the medications, it is ultimately expected that the number of kidney injury cases will rapidly increase in the coming months and years.