Use of the acid reflux medication Protonix (generic: pantoprazole) may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), a serious medical condition characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered kidney damage or acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) after taking Protonix, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
Update: Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Kidney Disease, Study Finds
April 14, 2016 – Taking Protonix or other PPI heartburn medication may increase your risk of chronic kidney disease and renal failure, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The researchers found that those who take proton pump inhibitors are more likely than people who take histamine H2 receptor blockers (Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac) to develop CKD or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) over a 5-year period.
Protonix is an FDA-approved proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drug used to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and gastric ulcers by reducing the production of stomach acid. PPIs work by blocking the release of gastric acid, thereby preventing the flow of acid for up to 24 hours. In 2013 alone, over 15 million Americans filled a prescription for a proton pump inhibitor heartburn medication.
What’s the Problem?
A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that proton pump inhibitor use significantly increased the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and renal failure, which can lead to permanent injury and even death. In an interview with NPR, gastroenterologist John Clarke warned of the risks associated with PPIs:
“The teaching for many years was that these drugs were quite safe. But there is data that’s emerging that suggests PPIs may not be as safe as we think they are.”
Clarke cautioned that most patients should only take proton pump inhibitors for 2 to 8 weeks at a time, although their doctor may recommend more.
What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
Chronic kidney disease (also know as CKD, chronic renal failure, chronic renal disease or chronic kidney failure) refers to the progressive loss of kidney function over time. If left untreated, kidney disease leads to permanent kidney failure. CKD is much more common than people realize, and often goes undiagnosed until the disease is in its advanced stages. It is not unusual for people to first realize they have the condition when their kidney function is down to 25% of normal.
Signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease include:
- Nausea / vomiting
- Decrease in urine output
- Swelling, particularly of the ankles
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth / urine-like odor to the breath
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Muscle cramps,
- Pale skin
- Excessively dry, itchy skin
There is no currently no known cure for chronic kidney disease. Therefore, the goal of treatment involves preventing further damage to the kidneys. One of the most important parts of treatment is to identify and eliminate (if possible) factors that may be causing the disease. If Protonix is determined to be the likely cause, your doctor may recommend discontinuing treatment in favor of another heartburn medication with less severe side effects. However, you should never switch or quit taking a drug without talking to your doctor first.
If kidney disease progresses to full-blown renal failure, you will require dialysis in order to survive. Dialysis removes waste from the blood when the kidneys can no longer function properly. In most cases, patients need dialysis treatment when their kidney function is down to 10-15%.
Do I Have a Protonix Kidney Disease 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 kidney disease cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you suffered kidney damage from Protonix, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.