Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits Mount, as Kidney Damage Claims Exceed 2,000 Nationwide

Published on April 12, 2018 by Sandy Liebhard

Plaintiffs throughout the nation continue to file proton pump inhibitor lawsuits for kidney failure and other renal complications allegedly related to the long-term use of heartburn drugs like Nexium, Prilosec and PrevAcid.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits Pending in New Jersey, Delaware, Missouri

A Joint Status Report dated April 2nd indicates that 1,929 claims filed on behalf of 1,963 plaintiffs are currently pending in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, where all federal kidney damage lawsuit involving proton pump inhibitors have been centralized for the purpose of coordinated pretrial proceedings.

Around 90 similar cases have been filed in various state courts, including Delaware and Missouri.

Proton Pump Inhibitors and the Kidneys

Proton pump inhibitors are used by millions of Americans to treat GERD and other digestive orders associated with the overproduction of gastric acid. While the drugs are among the most popular in the world, some research suggests that proton pump inhibitors are overprescribed, with many patients using the medications for inappropriate indications or taking them for far longer periods than what is usually recommended.

The specific medications at issue in the federal proton pump inhibitor litigation include:

  • Nexium
  • Nexium 24HR
  • Prilosec
  • Prilosec OTC
  • PrevAcid
  • PrevAcid 24HR
  • Dexilant
  • Protonix

Kidney injury lawsuits involving these drugs began to mount in 2016, after several studies were published that linked their long-term use to kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, and acute interstitial nephritis, including:

  • A paper published by CMAJ Open in April 2015 that linked extended proton pump inhibitor use to a 3-fold increase in the risk for acute interstitial nephritis, as well as a 2.5 times higher risk of acute kidney injury.
  • Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine in January 2016 which suggested that long-term use of the drugs might increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by as much as 50%.
  • A paper appearing in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology in April 2016 that reported that long-time users of proton pump inhibitors may be 96% more likely to develop kidney failure and 28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease compared to patients using H2-blockers.

Though the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered proton pump inhibitor manufacturers to add information about acute interstitial nephritis to their product labels in December 2014, the drugs’ prescribing information fails to note any other potential renal complications.

Plaintiffs who seek damages for renal injuries allegedly caused by proton pump inhibitors claim that the drugs’ manufacturers have received hundreds of reports over the years linking their products to kidney damage yet failed to adequately warn doctors and patients about these potential side effects. Plaintiffs further allege that they would have avoided their kidney injuries had proper warnings been provided.

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