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Prevacid Kidney Failure Lawsuit

Prevacid Kidney Failure Lawsuit

Over-the-counter antacids like Prevacid effectively treat heartburn, but long-term use has been associated with higher rates of nephritis (kidney inflammation) and other side effects that can cause kidney failure.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Prevacid induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with kidney failure, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

Overview

Prevacid (lansoprazole) is a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) antacid medication that is used to prevent heartburn and acid reflux disease. It has been linked to several kidney diseases that can cause kidney failure, including:

What is the problem?

No one knows exactly why PPIs are associated with kidney problems. However, there are several theories. The FDA has issued warnings about low magnesium levels, which could potentially damage the kidneys.

It is also possible that repeated bouts of low-level inflammation due to nephritis could progressively damage the kidneys. Nephritis is a reversible kidney disease, and people who are diagnosed and treated early can recover completely. However, people with nephritis who continue taking Prevacid can develop kidney failure. About 1-3% of all cases of kidney failure are caused by nephritis.

Studies Linking PPIs and Kidney Side Effects

A growing number of studies have found that people who use PPIs are more likely to develop kidney side effects. The first case reports linking Prevacid and nephritis (kidney inflammation) were published over a decade ago, but warnings were not added to the label until December 2014.

Several studies have linked PPIs and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). One study published in CMAJ Open found that PPIs tripled the risk of nephritis and more than doubled the risk of kidney damage. Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine by researchers at Johns Hopkins found a 20-50% increased risk of CKD associated with daily use of PPIs.

Prevacid Linked to 96% Increased Risk of Kidney Failure

People who use Prevacid and other anti-heartburn medications in the PPI class may be 96% more likely to  develop kidney failure and 26% more likely to develop kidney disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

After tracking nearly 200,000 veterans in St. Louis for five years, researchers found that 15% of PPI users had kidney disease vs. 11% of people on H2-blocker antacids. Longer treatment with PPIs was associated with greater risk. Kidney failure was 3X more common in people who used PPIs for 1-2 years compared to a month or less. Kidney failure only occurred in 0.2% of people in the study, but it was nearly twice as common among PPI users.

According to the author of the study, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly:

“I think people see these medications at the drug store and assume they’re completely safe. But there’s growing evidence they’re not as safe as we’ve thought. [Patients should] use PPIs only when it is medically necessary, and should limit duration of exposure to the minimum necessary to treat the underlying medical condition.”

What is Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys stop performing functions essential to survival, such as cleaning the blood and removing excess fluids and wastes in urine. Kidney disease causes symptoms in many areas of the body, such as:

  • Fluid retention (swelling in legs and feet)
  • Chronic fatigue and weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite and weight-loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry skin and persistent itching
  • Weak bones
  • Anemia (low blood count)
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Muscle cramps
  • Confusion or cognitive problems

Diagnosis & Treatment

The most common way to diagnose kidney failure is with a blood test that finds abnormally high levels of creatinine and blood-urea nitrogen (BUN) and low glomerular filtration rate (GFR).

Once kidney failure is diagnosed, the first step is discontinuing medications that are harming the kidneys. Prevacid patients may need to take a non-PPI heartburn medication. They may also need to use medications that lower blood pressure. Failing kidneys can sometimes recover, but when they stop working, the only treatments are dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Do I have a Prevacid Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Prevacid induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with kidney failure, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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