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Protonix Kidney Failure Lawsuit

Protonix Kidney Failure Lawsuit

Heartburn medications like Protonix are associated with nephritis, kidney injury, and other renal diseases that can cause kidney failure.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Protonix 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

Protonix contains pantoprazole, an anti-heartburn drug that was approved by the FDA in 2000. It is a member of the proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) class of antacids.

What is the problem?

Experts are not sure why studies have linked PPIs and kidney disease. One hypothesis is that the kidneys are damaged by low magnesium levels, a side effect the FDA has recently linked to PPIs. Another hypothesis is that the kidneys are damaged by repeated bouts of low-level inflammation due to nephritis.

Protonix has been associated with a number of renal diseases that can cause kidney failure, including:

  • Interstitial nephritis: Kidney inflammation and swelling in the spaces between tubules due to a hypersensitivity reaction. About 50% of patients develop symptoms of kidney failure.
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Long-term and progressive disease that decreases kidney function.
  • Acute kidney injury: Sudden decrease in kidney function or kidney damage that occurs within a few hours or days.

Protonix and Kidney Failure

The first case report of Protonix-induced nephritis was published in 2004. Since then, Protonix and other PPIs have been linked to dozens of reports of this side effect. Although it is rare, nephritis can cause kidney failure if it is not diagnosed and treated promptly.

In December 2014, the label on Protonix was updated to include stronger warnings about nephritis. Unfortunately, recent studies have found even more evidence linking Protonix and renal diseases that can cause kidney failure. These studies include:

  • JAMA Internal Medicine (February 2016): Researchers at Johns Hopkins looked at data on 10,500 patients on PPIs and found that daily users were 15% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease, and twice-daily users were nearly 50% more likely.
  • CMAJ Open (April 2015): Canadian study involving nearly 300,000 people who started PPI treatment found a 2.5-fold increased risk of acute kidney injury and a tripled increased risk of interstitial nephritis.

Protonix Linked to 96% Increased Risk of Kidney Failure

In April 2016, a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology compared the risk of kidney failure among people who used anti-heartburn drugs in the PPI class (such as Protonix) and H2-blockers like Pepcid or Zantac.

After analyzing data on 170,000 people on PPIs and 20,000 people on H2-blockers, PPIs were associated with a 96% increased risk of kidney failure and a 26% increased risk of chronic kidney disease. After 5 years, 15% of PPI users had been diagnosed with kidney disease. Kidney failure occurred in 0.2% of study participants and it was twice as common among PPI users. Kidney failure was also 3X more likely to occur in people on long-term treatment with PPIs (1-2  years) vs. short-term treatment (1 month or less).

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 perform less than 15% of their normal function. When the kidneys can no longer keep up with the body’s needs, toxins and fluids build up and poison the body. The only treatment options are dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Symptoms of Kidney Failure

  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of the ankles, feet, or other parts of the body (edema)
  • Fluid retention
  • Changes in urination
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping at night (insomnia)
  • Persistent itching and dry skin
  • Muscle cramps

Do I have a Protonix Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Protonix 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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