An Overview of Nexium
The lawsuits of interest right now with Nexium and Prilosec is kidney injuries in light of the new FDA study on PPIs discussed below. If you think you may have a potential kidney injury lawsuit, call 1-800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation here.
Nexium® (esomeprazole magnesium) is a drug manufactured and distributed by AstraZeneca. The pills are famously purple. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2001, for the treatment of numerous stomach conditions such the following:
- Dyspepsia (upset stomach, indigestion, impaired digestion);
- Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD);
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD);
- Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR), also known as Extraesophageal Reflux Disease (EERD);
- Barrett’s Esophagus (pre-cancerous condition where normal cells in the lining of the esophagus develop into abnormal cells which can lead to adenocarcinoma (esophageal cancer);
- Prevention of stress gastritis (type of ulcer caused by stress);
- Adenocarcinoma (cancer of the esophagus);
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (gastric acid hypersecretion, severe peptic ulceration, and non-beta cell islet tumor of pancreas (gastrinoma); and
- Other forms of hypersecretion of stomach acid
Nexium is most readily available in capsule form of twenty to forty milligram dosages and is taken once or twice per day depending on doctor’s instructions for no more than fourteen days. It may be administered for longer periods of time under a doctor’s instruction. It is also less commonly available as an injection administered intravenously.
Nexium is AstraZeneca’s best-selling drug and the third best-selling medication in the world generating billions of dollars in sales. Esomeprazole is now produced by several pharmaceutical companies under the brand names Prilosec, Aciphex, Dexilant, Zegrid, Prevacid, and Protonics, as well as its generic formulation, Omeprazole.
The medication belongs to a class of drug called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) which is designed to cause a pronounced and long-lasting reduction in gastric acid. It has more or less replaced the use of h4 Receptor Antagonists which has the same results but does so in a different mode of action. The main difference between the two classes is the PPI’s stop the production of gastric acid, whereas the h4-type drugs block the action of histamine on parietal cells (outer lining) in the stomach which decreased the production of acid by these cells.
Drugs belonging to this class generally are well tolerated by patients, and serious adverse effects from short-term use of the medication are rare. The common side effects are a headache, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue and dizziness. Adverse effects of omeprazole, although all PPI’s carry the same risks, are reported more often than other PPI’s mainly because it is prescribed more often than other PPI’s.Adverse Side Effects
Long-term use of Proton Pump Inhibitors has been linked to hypomagnesemia, an electrolyte disturbance in which there is an abnormally low level of magnesium in the blood. The body uses its gastric acid to release Vitamin B-12 into the blood and because PPI’s inhibit the production of stomach acid, it is believed its use on a long-term basis can lead to a deficiency in B-12. Infrequently, adverse side effects such as rash, itch, flatulence, constipation, anxiety, and depression are reported. Idiosyncratic reactions such as erythema multiforme (redness of the skin, caused by hyperemia of the capillaries in the lower layers of the skin), pancreatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a potentially deadly skin disease), and Acute Interstitial Nephritis are reported but occur rarely.
Also, studies have shown that long-term use of h4-receptor Antagonists and Proton Pump Inhibitors are associated with an increased risk of community-acquired pneumonia. Researchers suspect that the suppression of gastric acid causes an insufficient elimination of pathogenic organisms. Therefore, patients who fall into the high-risk category for pneumonia should only be prescribed PPI’s, and like medications, at lower dosages and for as short of a time as possible, and only when necessary. The medicine also has shown to raise the risk of Clostridium difficile infection a (bacterium associated with Colitis), by 1.7 times for those patients who are administered the medication once daily and by 2.4 times in those who take the medication twice daily.Nexium Kidney Injuries Growing research in 2016 tells us that Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors (PPI) like Prilosec may cause patients to develop chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney failure. Long-term use of PPI’s has been less studied; therefore, potential kidney injuries caused by Nexium and lawsuits stemming from such adverse effects are going to require future studies to affirm how Plaintiffs’ attorneys believe the evidence may play out. One thing is for certain and requires no further evidence: these type of kidney injuries are awful. A New Alarming Study The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology put out a study in April 2016 that has exacerbated the calls to take a closer look at Nexium. The study compared acid reflux drug kidney risks among users of PPIs with another class of heartburn drugs. You do not know how reliable a study is until it gets replicated again and again. That said, this seems like a strong study with a long time horizon. Over a period of five years, researchers found that 15% of all PPI users ended up with chronic kidney disease. That is a big number. The study also suggests that injury and the degree of injury may be dose responsive. In other words, the longer and the more of the drug that you took, the greater your risk of developing a kidney injury.
Product liability attorneys continue to review potential Nexium, Prilosec, and other PPI lawsuits for kidney injuries (not bone fractures suffered by users of the medication throughout the county. If you think you may have a potential lawsuit, call 1-800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation here.