Update: 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.
What is Protonix?
Protonix is used to treat peptic ulcer disease and certain esophageal problems such as acid reflux by decreasing the amount of acid the stomach makes. The drug relieves symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing and persistent cough. Protonix is made by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, and was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2000.
What’s the Problem?
To relieve the symptoms of gastric reflux, many patients are prescribed Protonix for several months or more. However, mounting evidence and numerous case studies have linked Protonix and other proton pump inhibitors to an increased risk of serious side effects. Our lawyers are reviewing potential lawsuits for people who suffered kidney damage after taking Protonix or other PPI heartburn medication.
PPIs Could Increase Kidney Disease Risk: JAMA Study
The incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) has grown far more rapidly than many of its common comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension), and prescription medications like Protonix may be an underlying cause.
In 2013 alone, more than 15 million Americans filled a prescription for a proton pump inhibitor heartburn medication. PPIs are often used inappropriately and frequently taken for indefinite durations. The drugs have previously been linked to bone fractures, community-acquired pneumonia, Clostridium difficile infection, acute interstitial nephritis and acute kidney injury. And now a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine has bolstered the evidence that PPI use is associated with an increased risk of long-term kidney damage.
For the study, researchers looked at data on more than 10,000 adults in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, and found that PPI use was associated with a 20-50% increased risk of developing CKD. The link was confirmed after adjusting for confounding variables such as demographics, socioeconomic status, clinical measurements, prevalent comorbidities, and concomitant use of medications. The study also determined that PPI users were more likely to have hypertension, be obese, and take numerous prescription medications.
Kidney Disease Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of CKD include:
- Appetite loss
- General ill feeling (malaise) and fatigue
- Itching (pruritus) and dry skin
- Weight loss without trying to lose weight
Precautions When Taking Protonix
Since Protonix contains sodium, patients on salt restricted diets should avoid using the medicine. Because it may cause bleeding, patients taking blood-thinners should exercise caution while taking Protonix. Additionally, the safety of this drug when used during pregnancy has not been established, and is not recommended for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Protonix Side Effects
- Acute interstitial nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys)
- Acute kidney injury
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
- Kidney failure (renal failure)
- Heart attack
- Bone fractures (hip fracture, wrist fracture, spine fracture)
- Broken bones
- Low magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia)
- Gut infections
- And more
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.
Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Rhabdomyolysis
September 26, 2016 – A new case study has found that use of proton pump inhibitors like Protonix may increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis, a syndrome caused by the release of muscle fibers into the bloodstream. The study describes 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 the journal Medicine.
Protonix Linked to Brain Problems, Fluid Buildup
September 1, 2016 – Protonix and other PPI heartburn medications may cause loss of brain function (hepatic encephalopathy or ‘HE’) and fluid buildup in the abdomen (ascites), according to a study published last month in the journal Hepatology. The researchers found that 52% of patients took a proton pump inhibitor during clinical trials, and these patients had a 31% cumulative 1-year risk for HE. The researchers warned doctors against prescribing PPIs to patients with cirrhosis.
Study Finds Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Complications With PPI Heartburn Drugs
August 19, 2016 – Heart disease patients who take proton pump inhibitors like Protonix face an increased risk for anemia, lower weight and a worsening metabolic profile, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Cardiology. The researchers theorized that this could be partially due to the decreased use in this group of ACE-inhibitors (which reduce blood pressure) and statins (which reduce blood cholesterol). Patients should avoid using PPIs long-term, the study’s authors cautioned.
PPIs May Cause Kidney Failure, Study Finds
April 14, 2016 – Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors like Protonix may cause an increased risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and renal failure, a new study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) suggests. The study found that 15% of PPI users developed CKD, compared to 11% of those who took histamine H2 receptor blockers (Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac). After calculating for variables including age and other factors, this equaled a 28% increased risk of kidney disease for patients who took proton pump inhibitors.
Is There a Class Action?
No class action lawsuit has yet been filed over injuries allegedly caused by Protonix or any other PPI heartburn. Instead, our lawyers are investigating individual claims on behalf of people who suffered kidney damage after taking the drugs.
The law offices of Schmidt & Clark, LLP, specialize in helping victims of defective medications file individual complaints against major pharmaceutical companies. When drugmakers fail to warn about side effects, it is not uncommon for hundreds or even thousands of people to file lawsuits. Instead of a class action, these individual cases are often centralized at the federal or state level.
Do I Have a Protonix 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 Protonix 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 suffered a kidney injury and you believe Protonix may be the cause, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.