Update: Long-Term PPI Use Linked to Doubled Risk for Gastric Cancer

December 1, 2017 – Use of a proton-pump inhibitor like Prevacid after Helicobacter pylori eradication more than doubles your risk for stomach cancer, according to a new study published in the journal Gut.The researchers point out, however, that this was an observational study, which can’t prove cause and effect.

What is Prevacid?

Prevacid is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drug used to treat and prevent stomach and intestinal ulcers, erosive esophagus (damage to the stomach acid caused by stomach acid), and other conditions caused by excessive stomach acid such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. The drug works by decreasing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. In addition to Prevacid, other PPIs include Nexium (esomeprazole), Prilosec (omeprazole), Aciphex (rabeprazole), Dexilant (dexlansoprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole) and Zegerid (omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate).

Studies Link PPI Heartburn Drugs to Kidney Disease

Proton pump inhibitors have been linked to an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a pair of recent studies. The first involved more than 20,000 test subjects who developed CKD between 2001 and 2008. At least 25% of the patients had previously taken a PPI. The researchers also determined that patients treated with PPIs had nearly double the risk of dying prematurely.

The 2nd study included 10,000 patients, and found that over 50% of PPI users were more likely to develop chronic kidney disease compared to non-users; these figures were arrived at after adjusting for differences between test subjects.

“It is very reasonable to assume that PPIs themselves can cause chronic kidney disease,” said Dr. Pradeep Arora, lead author of one of the studies. “Patients should only use PPIs for [FDA] approved uses, and not only for the every day heartburn.” 

What is CKD?

Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys become damaged to the point where they can’t filter wastes and excess fluids from the blood as they should. With between 18 million and 22 million Americans suffering from the condition, CKD represents a major health threat. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure and use of proton pump inhibitor heartburn medications.


Signs and symptoms of kidney disease typically develop slowly over time, and may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue / weakness
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in urine output
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Muscle twitches / cramps
  • Hiccups
  • Swelling of feet, ankles or feet
  • Persistent itching
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

These symptoms are often non-specific, meaning they may be caused by other conditions. If you take Prevacid, you should consult your physician about switching to another drug with fewer side effects. However, you should never switch or quit talking a medication without talking to your doctor first.

Can Kidney Disease be Cured?

Unfortunately, CKD cannot be cured, but treatment may help. Erythropoietin (rhEPO) and iron replacement therapy (iron pills or intravenous iron) can help manage symptoms. In later stages, dialysis (filtering the blood with a machine) or a kidney transplant may be needed.

Prevacid Side Effects

  • Acute interstitial nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys)
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Cardiac disorders
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Bone fractures (hip fracture, wrist fracture, spine fracture)
  • Broken bones
  • Low magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia)
  • Gut infections
  • Dementia
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • And more

PPI Heartburn Medicines Linked to Dermatological Reactions, Study Finds

October 23, 2017 – A case report presented at this year’s meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology found that the proton pump inhibitors pantoprazole (Protonix) and lansoprazole (Prevacid) were linked to 2 distinct dermatological reactions. The case involved a 32-year-old man who was initially prescribed pantoprazole after presenting with dyspepsia-like symptoms.

PPI Kidney Injury Suits Centralized in New Jersey

August 4, 2017 – The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on Wednesday ordered that all federally-filed lawsuits involving kidney injuries from PPI heartburn drugs will be consolidated in the District of New Jersey for pretrial handling. The panel’s ruling marked an about-face from its previous opinion on the matter, having in February rejected a bid to create an MDL. The reason for the change was due to the litigation’s substantial increase in size since the initial ruling, and because 2 defendants who previously opposed centralization — AstraZeneca and Pfizer — are now in support of it, according to JPML.

PPIs Linked to Increased Risk of Pneumonia in Dementia Patients

April 5, 2017 – Dementia patients who take proton pump inhibitors have an 89% increased risk of developing pneumonia compared to dementia patients who don’t use the medications, according to a study published last month in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Independent risk factors for pneumonia included age, male gender, underlying cerebrovascular disease, chronic pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, and antipsychotic use.

PPIs Linked to Increased Risk for Heart Failure, Death

March 23, 2017 – Proton pump inhibitor heartburn medicines have been linked to an increased risk for heart failure and death in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a recent study published in PLOS ONE. The researchers found that PPIs are commonly used to prevent complications in CAD patients treated with chronic antiplatelet therapy (aspirin, Plavix, Effient); however, when used in this capacity, proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of adverse health consequences including pneumonia, micronutrient deficiencies, and osteoporosis-related fractures.

PPIs May Increase Risk of GI Infection, Study Finds

January 6, 2017 – People who take proton pump inhibitors may be at an increased risk for developing severe stomach infections, according to a study published Thursday in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. The researchers found that among a cohort of 565,000 adults, patients who used PPIs had higher rates of infection with C. difficile and Campylobacter bacteria compared to those who didn’t take the medications. PPIs work by blocking stomach acid production, and the study’s authors suspect that this mechanism of action may change the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut, leaving users vulnerable to gastrointestinal infection.

PPI Side Effects May Cause Rhabdomyolysis After One Dose, Study Finds

September 26, 2016 – Side effects of the PPI Nexium (esomeprazole), applied intravenously in a single dose, caused a man to develop a debilitating muscle problem known as rhabdomyolysis, according a case report published last month in Medicine. Doctors from Gyeongsang National University Hospital in South Korea report that the 45-year old patient suffered signs of muscular breakdown after being given an intravenous dose of Nexium. If untreated, rhabdomyolysis can quickly lead to kidney failure, a side effect that has been repeatedly linked to the use of PPIs.

Study Links PPIs to Brain Problems, Fluid Buildup

September 1, 2016 – Proton pump inhibitors like Prevacid may cause loss of brain function (hepatic encephalopathy or “HE”) and fluid buildup in the abdomen (ascites), according to recent study published in Hepatology. In the study, 52% of patients used PPIs in clinical trials, and they had a 31% cumulative 1-year risk for HE. Patients who did not take the drugs had a 25% increased risk, according to the study.

Chronic PPI Use Linked to Increased Heart Risk

August 19, 2016 – Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Prevacid appear to have a negative effect on vascular function in patients with heart disease, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Cardiology. Results showed that PPI users were six times more likely to suffer from anemia, as well as have a worsening metabolic profile. The researchers concluded that patients and doctors should think twice before using PPIs drugs long-term.

PPI Heartburn Meds Linked to Kidney Failure…Again

April 14, 2016 – People who use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are more likely than those who take histamine H2 receptor blockers (Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac) to develop kidney disease and renal failure, a new study suggests. The conclusions are based on medical records from over 173,000 VA patients who were prescribed a PPI and more than 20,000 others who took H2-blockers. Over the course of 5 years, 15% of PPI users developed kidney disease, versus 11% of those on H2-blockers. After other factors were calculated, PPI users still had a 28% greater risk.

Is There a Class Action Against Prevacid?

No class action lawsuit has yet been filed in the Prevacid litigation. However, our lawyers are accepting potential individual claims on behalf of people who suffered kidney damage after taking the drug. If we determine that you have a legitimate case, you may be awarded compensation to assist with medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Do I Have a Prevacid Lawsuit?

The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Prevacid lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you were injured by Aciphex side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

FREE Confidential Case Evaluation

To contact us for a free review of your potential case, please fill out the form below or call us toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing: (866) 223-3784.

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