Update: Common Heartburn Drugs Linked to Doubled Risk of Stomach Cancer

December 1, 2017 – Prilosec and other acid rerflux drugs from the Proton pump inhibitor class have been linked to a greater-than-doubled risk of developing stomach cancer, a new study has found. The increased risk is tied to a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, carried by more than half of the world’s population – most often harmlessly, but in a small percentage of people, the bug has been found to cause stomach cancer.


Prilosec is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drug used to treat the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and to promote healing of erosive esophagitis (damage to the esophagus caused by stomach acid). The drug works by decreasing the amount of acid the stomach produces, which reduces symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing and persistent cough. Prilosec is made by AstraZeneca, and was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2003.

What’s the Problem?

Prilosec and other PPI heartburn medications may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and other damage to the kidneys, according to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers followed 10,482 test subjects for an average of 13.9 years, comparing patients who took PPIs to non-users and to those who used another type of heartburn drug called H2 receptor antagonists (brand names Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid and others). After adjusting for variables, the study’s authors determined that PPI use was associated with a 20-50% increased risk of CKD, while the use of H2 receptor antagonists was not linked to kidney problems.

“The study doesn’t prove that P.P.I.s cause kidney disease,” said Dr. Morgan E. Grams, senior author of the study. “But like all medications, there are risks and benefits. One approach for patients who require a long course of P.P.I.s would be to routinely monitor their kidney function.”

Which Drugs are Proton Pump Inhibitors?

In addition to Prilosec, other PPIs that may increase the risk of long-term kidney damage include:

Prilosec Causing Massive Health Problems, Including Kidney Failure: Ring of Fire Video

Kidney Disease Symptoms

Most symptoms of CKD are due to the buildup of waste products in the body, and may include weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy and confusion. Inability to remove potassium from the blood may lead to abnormal heart rhythms (arrythmias) and even death. Kidney disease often causes no recognizable symptoms until its advanced stages.


Depending on what’s causing the problem, some forms of chronic kidney disease can be treated. Unfortunately though, many cases of CKD cannot be cured. Treatment usually consists of measures to help control symptoms, reduce complications and slow progression of the disease. If your kidneys are severely damaged, you may need treatment for end-stage kidney disease (renal failure).

Prilosec Side Effects

  • Acute Kidney Disease
  • Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN)
  • Cardiac disorders
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Bone fractures (hip fracture, wrist fracture, spine fracture)
  • Broken bones
  • Low magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia)
  • Stomach cancer
  • Gut infections
  • Dementia
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • And more

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.

Study Finds Increased Risk of Death with PPI Heartburn Medications

July 5, 2017 – Proton pump inhibitors have been linked to a 25% greater risk of death compared to patients who took H2 blockers, according to a study published Monday in BMJ. The study also found that PPI use was linked to a 15% increased death rate compared to patients who took another kind of acid suppressor other than H2 blockers, and that the death rate was 23% higher among PPI users compared to people who took no such medications.

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.

Florida Woman Alleges Kidney Damage from Prilosec

March 27, 2017 – A woman from Florida who was prescribed Prilosec to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has filed a lawsuit against AstraZeneca alleging that the company failed to adequately warn about the risk of kidney damage with the drug. Plaintiff Cheryl Lear was prescribed Prilosec from March 2012 to September 2013, and Protonix from February 2013 through September 2013. For about 3 years Lear suffered from kidney damage, but at the time her injuries were not attributed to her use of a PPI because manufacturers failed to adequately warn about the risk of kidney disease with the medications.

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 linked to Stomach Infections, Study Finds

January 6, 2017 – People who take proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec may be at an increased risk for developing severe gut infections, according to a new study published 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 Linked to Rhabdomyolysis

September 26, 2016 – A new case study has found that use of PPI heartburn medications like Prilosec may increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which skeletal muscle breaks down rapidly. The study described the case of a 45-year-old man who was hospitalized for persistent lower chest pain and treated with a single intravenous dose of Nexium (esomeprazole), after which he developed rhabdomyolysis. The findings were published in last month’s edition of Medicine.

Prilosec Linked to Brain Problems, Fluid Buildup

September 1, 2016 – Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of loss of brain function and fluid buildup in the abdomen, according to a new study published in the journal Hepatology. Fifty-two percent of patients in the study used PPIs at some point during clinical trials. The Researchers found that these patients had a 31% cumulative 1-year risk for brain damage, compared to a 25% risk for those who did not take the medications.

Prilosec Linked to Cardiac Complications, Study Finds

August 19, 2016 – Use of PPI heartburn medications like Prilosec may lead to cardiovascular complications in patients with heart disease, according to a June study published in the International Journal of Cardiology. The researchers found that prolonged use of proton pump inhibitors in these patients was associated with worsening of red blood count indexes, lower weight and under-utilization of cardioprotective medications like statins and blood pressure drugs.

Prilosec Linked to Kidney Failure, Study Finds

April 14, 2016 – Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and renal failure, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JSAN). Researchers compared PPIs to histamine H2 receptor blockers (Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac), and identified a 28% increased risk of CKD for proton pump inhibitor users. The study reinforces prior research indicating a link between PPIs and kidney damage.

Has a Class Action Been Filed?

There is currently no class action lawsuit pending in the Prilosec litigation. Instead, our lawyers are reviewing individual claims on behalf of people who suffered kidney damage after using the medication. If we determine that you have a valid claim, you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.

Do I Have a Prilosec 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 Prilosec 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 or a loved one developed CKD, kidney failure or other kidney injury from Prilosec, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation 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.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.