More than 15 million Americans have taken popular acid reflux drugs such as Prilosec, Nexium, or Prevacid to help with heartburn or indigestion. But a Johns Hopkins University study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently linked these drugs to kidney damage and kidney failure. If you’ve developed kidney issues since taking one of these medications, it’s important to understand the results of this study, what consequences may follow, and how an attorney can help.
What the Study Found
Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)—medicines that suppress acid production in the stomach. Although Johns Hopkins researchers believe more study is needed to reach a definitive conclusion about the harmful relationship between kidney issues and PPIs, their study found that:
- The drugs increased the risk of kidney damage by 20–50 percent.
- The damage is rooted in decreased magnesium levels in the body, which can disable the kidneys from filtering blood effectively.
- Those who took a PPI twice a day had nearly twice the risk of kidney damage than those who took one dose each day.
PPIs Could Have Lasting Consequences
Although the drugs were thought to be safe when first introduced to the market in the 1980s, many healthcare professionals have expressed concerns about the long-term effects of PPIs. In their findings, the Johns Hopkins researchers recommended patients use PPIs as infrequently as possible and only when necessary for a medical condition. Such a concern exists because these drugs may lead to:
- Kidney damage
- Kidney failure
- Chronic kidney disease
- The need for dialysis or kidney transplant
Consult With an Attorney Today
If you’ve taken a PPI such as Nexium, Prilosec, or Prevacid and have kidney issues, it’s important to seek medical attention and call an attorney. The experienced team at the Holton Law Firm can help you understand if you should pursue compensation. To speak with a member of our firm, call us today.