People who take heartburn drugs like Nexium (esomeprazole) and Prilosec (omeprazole) may be at an increased risk for severe gut infections, a new study has found.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you suffered a kidney injury or nephritis from PPI side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
January 6, 2017 – The study, published Thursday in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, found that among 565,000 adults, those who took proton pump inhibitor (PPI) heartburn medications had higher rates of infection with C. difficile and Campylobacter bacteria compared to patients who did not take the drugs.
Both pathogens produce symptoms of abdominal distress, but can become more severe in certain at-risk populations. C. difficile, for example, was linked to nearly 500,000 infections in the U.S. in 2011 alone — including 29,000 people who died from complications within a 30 day period — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Nexium (esomeprazole)
- Aciphex (rabeprazole)
- Protonix (pantoprazole)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Zegerid (omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate)
- Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)
- Prilosec (omeprazole)
Proton pump inhibitors work by suppressing acid production in the stomach, which the researchers feel may make patients more likely to develop stomach infections.
For the study, researchers examined the medical records of nearly 565,000 Scottish adults. More than 188,000 had been given at least one prescription for a PPI or H2 blocker (Pepcid, Zantac, Tagamet); the rest had no prescriptions for the drugs.
On average, the people who used proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers were about 4 times more likely to develop a Campylobacter infection, and 70% more likely to be diagnosed with C. diff outside of a hospital setting; their odds of being diagnosed in the hospital were 42% higher, according to the study.
The new findings aren’t the first to raise concerns about gastrointestinal infections from PPIs. A September 2016 study published in Gut and Liver found that proton pump inhibitors increase the risk of infection from C. diff.
The drugs have also been linked to chronic kidney disease (CKD), acute interstitial nephritis (AIN), renal failure, stroke and many other life-threatening conditions.
Do I have a Heartburn Drug Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in heartburn drug lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new kidney damage cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one has been injured by proton pump inhibitor side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.