The February 2016 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, published results of a study which indicated that long-term use of Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) medications such as Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid may increase the risk of the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The study indicated that the 10-year risk of CKD in PPI users was 20 to 50 percent higher than those who had not taken the medications. The study also showed that the longer a person takes the medications, the greater the risk and patients who took the medications more than once a day were more likely to develop the condition.
Chronic kidney disease, also sometimes called chronic renal failure is caused by repeated damage to the kidneys resulting in an inability to filter metabolic products from the blood.
Over a period of time symptoms may include:
- Fluid retention
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Fluid in the lungs
- Heart failure
Symptoms of kidney failure should be reported immediately to a physician. But you should not discontinue taking your medications until you have consulted with your doctor.
Researchers conducting the study stated that physicians should be urged to recommend alternatives to PPI medications but also noted that many patients are taking the medications without a clear reason. Many patients may have been taking the medications symptomatically or for issues that have resolved. Over-the-counter availability has likely compounded the problem.
Many defective drug lawsuits are successful and result in judgements or settlements in favor of the plaintiff, however some do not. A lawsuit is no guarantee of compensation and each case must be evaluated separately.
If you or a loved one developed chronic kidney disease, suffered kidney failure or other serious medical injury such as heart attack after using a PPI medication, contact our office for a free consultation of your case.