Prilosec Kidney Failure Lawsuit Filed Against AstraZeneca

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson

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Amid increasing concerns about the risk of kidney problems linked to popular heartburn medications, a lawsuit filed last week against alleges that side effects of Prilosec caused a Kansas woman to develop end-stage renal disease, or kidney failure. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Jackie Koon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas on August 31, claiming that the drug maker knew or should have known about the kidney risks associated with their blockbuster medication, yet failed to adequately warn consumers or the medical community.

Koon indicates that she was first prescribed Prilosec in 2010, for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, and gastropathy caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). She continued using the medication until at least 2013, and indicates that there is a direct connection between Prilosec and kidney failure she has since developed, which has left her with a need for lifelong medical treatment and monitoring.

According to the lawsuit, AstraZeneca has received hundreds of adverse event reports involving kidney problems from Prilosec, yet failed to provide adequate warnings or information on the drug label.

“Specifically, Defendants had received numerous case reports of kidney injuries in patients that had ingested Prilosec by as early as 1989,” the lawsuit states. “These reports of numerous kidney injuries put Defendants on notice as to the excessive risks of kidney injuries related to the use of Prilosec. However, Defendants took no action to inform Plaintiff or Plaintiff’s physicians of this known risk. Instead, Defendants continued to represent that Prilosec did not pose any risk of kidney injuries.”

Prilosec belongs to a class of heartburn medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which also includes Nexium, Prevacid, Protonix, Dexilant and others. It is estimated that more than 15 million Americans used prescription-strength PPIs in 2013 alone, earning the manufacturers of these drugs a combined $10 billion.

In December 2014, the FDA required new warnings for the first time about the acute intersitital nephritis (AIN) risk from Prilosec, Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors. This condition involves inflammation of the kidneys, which can lead to more severe and chronic kidney damage. However, more recent independent studies have suggested that users also may face an increased risk of acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal failure.

According to the findings of a study published in the medical CMAJ Open in April 2015, individuals who started using PPI drugs had a 3 times higher risk of acute interstitial nephritis when compared to individuals who did not use the drugs, and a 2.5 times higher risk of experiencing acute kidney injury, which involves an abrupt loss of kidney function. Both conditions can progress to end-stage renal disease, or kidney failure.

Earlier this year, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine built on these findings, examining data on more than 10,000 participants over a period of more than 10 years, finding that the drugs were also associated with a higher incidence of chronic kidney disease.

In April 2016, researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs found that users of Prilosec, Nexium 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.

The complaint filed by Koon joins a growing number of Prilosec lawsuits, Nexium lawsuitsPrevacid lawsuits, Protonix lawsuits, Dexilant lawsuits and other claims involving allegations that users of proton pump inhibitors may have avoided severe kidney problems if the drug makers had adequately warned about the potential risks associated with the medications.

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

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  1. Joe Reply

    I developed acid reflux in 2014. The doctor put me on prilosec.
    After taking that for anklet a year my new doctor took me of our it because he said it was bad for my kidneys. Although I’ve never had trouble with my kidneys I’ve been experiencing kidney pain now for months. I was just speaking with the doctors nurse about that this morning. She said I need to make another appointment to see the doctor again. This enlightening article helped me make the decision to schedule that appointment. I guess I’ve put it off because I’m not a sickly person and didn’t have any idea if could be caused by the prilosec, until now. This is starting to make sense to me now.

  2. joy Reply

    ive been on Nexium for a number of years….stopped taking it last week on my own because of the new findings,,,

  3. DeLinda Reply

    My mom has had numerous problems with her kidneys and liver And has been on both of these drugs. Currently she is taking Prilosec and she just had a bout of acute renal failure about 2 months ago. The doctors said this kind of damage is usually caused by severe alcoholism but my mom doesn’t drink, and so far I’ve never heard any of her Doctors linking the use of these medications to her liver and kidney problems, or even mention that there is any link at all between the two.

  4. dorothy Reply

    my neurologist put me on Omeprasole when I started prednisone to protect my stomach. I got a fungal infection in my esophagus. I quit taking it .

  5. Judy Reply

    my husband developed Stage 3 kidney disease& lost function of one kidney after taking Prilosec…his Dr. Prescribes Omepresole. No warning of it causing kidney disease! What should I do? He now has ALZ so I am in charge of his medications. Who can I contact re. This who will direct me with the truth?

  6. Dianne Reply

    I sit here reading this and think we are totally manipulated by the FDA and DEA daily. My rheumatologist told me that my kidney function was not coming back a good as it had been and that I needed to get off Ibuprofen. I have been taking Ibuprofen and Prilosec for years. In all those years not one of these damn doctors ever said anything negative about either of these drugs being harmful. I have a chronic illness that I know, without a doubt, was created by bad doctors and horrible drugs. Since being retired, I have done tons of research about health and first refused to ever take narcotics for this horrible pain and I thank God everyday that I’m not this ill and strung out on drugs, drugs now that chronic pain patients can no longer get. All of this Big Pharma crap needs to cease and desist. They are so in bed with the government and neither one of them give a tinker’s damn about our health. Money is name of their game. I’m off many of the drugs that had been prescribed and replaced them with natural remedies. Prilosec is now gone as well.I refuse to let these bastards kill me!

  7. Eileen Reply

    Been on Prilosec for years. I have severe symptoms when I tried to quit. How do I get off this drug. Very worried.

  8. Mary Margaret Reply

    I took Prozac and than omeprazole due to stomach problems. I was having so much pain in my stomach that I was taken to the emergency room and had an operation with mesh implant. I have never been so miserable and suffering so much pain from the implant. Would much rather suffer than the discomfort I was suffering than the horrible pain I am now going thru.

  9. Candace Reply

    I took a scrip for omeprasole( generic for prilosec), from February 2018 to June 2018. in mid April I started having problems. On July 2nd I was admitted to the intensive care dept of the hospital for acute kidney failure (both kidneys). Luckily the treatment I received has spared me from serious damage, but the nephrologist is convinced it was the prilosec that caused my kidneys to fail.

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