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Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton Pump Inhibitors (“PPIs”) are a type of medication used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal ailments by reducing the amount of stomach acid produced by the body.  Some of the common issues PPIs are used to treat include:

  • Stomach Ulcers
  • Gastro Esophageal Reflux (GERD)
  • Inflammation of the Esophagus

First introduced as prescription medications in the early 1990’s, annual sales of PPIs are more than $7 Billion and the medications are now available in either prescription form or over-the-counter.  Some of the most popular brands of PPI’s include:

  • Prilosec
  • Nexium
  • Previcid
  • Aciphex

Because of the length of time that these products have been on the market, most of these medications come in both brand and generic form.

  • Omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • Esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • Lansoprazole (Previcid)
  • Robeprazole (Aciphex)

Recent studies suggest that the use of PPIs can cause damage to the kidneys.  In March 2016 a study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reported that PPI users had a 28% increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease.  An earlier study, published in the journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that use of a PPIs was associated with a 20% to 50% higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease.  Injuries that may be associated with PPI use include:

  • Acute renal failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Interstitial nephritis
  • End stage renal disease

Damage to the kidneys can result in a gradual loss of kidney function over several months or even years.  At the outset, symptoms associated with the decline in kidney function may not even be noticeable.  However, if not properly treated, chronic kidney disease can progress and develop into end-stage renal disease.  Symptoms associated with a loss of kidney function include:

  • Nausea
  • Fluid retention, especially in the legs and feet
  • A change in urine output
  • Weight gain
  • Drowsiness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Coma

If you or a loved one used PPIs, whether prescription or over-the-counter, and developed symptoms associated with a loss of kidney function you may be able to receive compensation.  Please contact us to speak with an attorney.

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