Maine Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawyer
Over the past twenty years, heartburn medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have become some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world. More than 100 million prescriptions are written in the United States alone for PPIs each year, and this figure does not include over-the-counter purchases.
While PPIs are intended to only be used temporarily, many patients become dependent on the drugs. New studies indicate that the use of PPIs increases the risk of stomach and gastric cancer as well as serious kidney injuries, including kidney failure.
What are Proton Pump Inhibitors?
PPIs were first developed in the 1980s. The drugs are designed to reduce the production of stomach acid and, therefore, are used for the treatment of heartburn, peptic ulcers, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
However, PPIs are often prescribed outside of their approved uses for purposes such as stress ulcers and the long-term treatment of GERD beyond the approved time frame for use.
It is estimated that up to two-thirds of all people on PPIs do not have a verified medical condition for taking the drug. Because many PPIs are now available over-the-counter, people assume they are safe and often take them when other heartburn remedies are more appropriate.
Some of the most commonly prescribed PPIs include:
- Aciphex (rabeprazole)
- Nexium (esomeprazole)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Prilosec (omeprazole)
- Protonix (pantoprazole)
Proton Pump Inhibitor Injuries
As physicians continue to prescribe PPIs with growing frequency, there are increasing reports linking PPIs to serious injuries. PPIs have been found to increase the risk of developing the following conditions:
- Acute interstitial nephritis (“AIN”), kidney disease and failure
- End stage renal disease
- Stomach cancer
- Gastric cancer
Proton Pump Inhibitor Litigation
A growing number of PPI lawsuits are being filed against AstraZeneca, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer and other manufacturers.
In August 2017, federal lawsuits involving PPI medications were centralized in a multi-district litigation (MDL) before U.S. District Court Judge Claire C. Cecchi in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Plaintiffs claim that, despite evidence that PPIs are associated with an increased risk of serious kidney injury, the companies have failed to provide adequate and complete warnings about this serious health risk. In fact, it was not until December 2014 that PPI manufacturers updated the prescribing information and package inserts to warn about the risk of kidney injury. However, the warning that was added only advises about the risk of acute interstitial nephritis diagnosed by kidney biopsy and not any of the other kidney conditions that have been associated with the use of PPIs.
Maine Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuit
If you or someone you love has taken a proton pump inhibitor and been diagnosed with stomach cancer, gastric cancer, or serious kidney injury, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries.
To speak with an experienced, Maine proton pump inhibitor lawyer, contact Fitzgerald Law Group at (844) FITZ-LAW or (844) 348-9529, or complete the contact form on this website for a free, confidential, case assessment.