A man from Tennessee has filed suit against AstraZeneca, after he allegedly developed drug-induced acute interstitial nephritis related to the use of Nexium. The complaint, which was filed on July 5th in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee, claims that the company failed to warn consumers about the serious risks potentially associated with the use of the popular proton pump inhibitor.
Acute interstitial nephritis is a sudden inflammation of the kidney tubules that is usually caused by an allergic reaction to a medication. The condition was not listed as a possible side effect on the labels for Nexium or other prescription proton pump inhibitors until 2014. Interstitial nephritis can occur anytime while taking Nexium, even in those who have been able to use the drug without incident in the past. It is important that the condition be recognized as soon as possible, as it may lead to chronic kidney disease and even kidney failure. Symptoms include:
The plaintiff in the Tennessee lawsuit took Nexium on various occasions beginning in 2003. In 2008, he was diagnosed with drug-induced acute interstitial nephritis. He is currently undergoing dialysis three times a week due to complications from the condition, and will require a kidney transplant.
The complaint accuses AstraZeneca of wrongly marketing Nexium as safe and effective, and of failing to warn doctors and patients about its potential to cause acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. The plaintiff also claims that the drug maker failed to conduct adequate testing that would have revealed Nexium’s serious potential side effects.
The lawsuit is the latest of several personal injury cases filed in recent months on behalf of plaintiffs who allegedly suffered serious kidney complications related to their use of Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors. The litigation has been growing in the wake of new finding that suggest these drugs might harm the kidneys, especially if used for a long period of time. For example, a study published in CMAJ Open last year found that older adults who used proton pump inhibitors were three times more likely to develop nephritis than non-users.
In April of this year, research that appeared in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology linked extended use of proton pump inhibitors with a 96% increased risk of renal failure and a 28% increase in the risk for chronic kidney disease when compared to H2-blockers. In January, findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggested that the medications might increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by as much as 50%.