Most of us have eaten too much spicy or rich food, or indulged in drinks that don’t agree with us. Acid reflux—commonly called heartburn—strikes about one-third of all adults worldwide at least once a year. More than 42 million adults have heartburn due to an underlying condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This means that more than 18 percent of the U.S. population suffers heartburn regularly, which can cause pain and inconvenience to everyday activities. A large part of the pharmaceutical market dedicates itself to medication, some of which is called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), that attempts to treat GERD and minimize the symptoms as much as possible.
When you take a PPI for heartburn or GERD, you expect to eat and drink without pain or discomfort. What you should NOT expect is to develop serious or even life-threatening medical conditions that you otherwise would not have acquired if you had not taken the medication. Unfortunately, that exact thing has happened to many people who simply wanted to live free from acid reflux. Pharmaceutical companies are making billions of dollars by selling purportedly safe drugs that actually result in potentially dangerous side effects.
People who took PPIs and now battle devastating health issues deserve compensation from the drug companies that harmed them. Taking on Big Pharma in court is no simple matter, but know that you are not alone. Hundreds of people have already taken legal action against PPI manufacturers. In addition, you should hire the right law firm to fight by your side—one that knows how to handle a complex yet critical case like this.
Stewart Guss and his team of experienced lawyers have more than 20 years of experience, and never shy away from complicated cases involving large corporations. We hold negligent companies responsible for the injuries they cause and we will leave no stone unturned to get you the largest possible recovery for your injuries.
If you want to discuss a possible PPI injury case for FREE, please call (800) 898-4877 or click HERE to send us a question or get more information. You never pay a DIME unless we are successful in pursuing your claim. We understand how to represent clients in complicated mass tort claims involving dangerous pharmaceuticals and greedy Big Pharma corporations. When you sign with us, you sign on as not just a client but as a part of our family, and we’re ready to bring our decades of experience to the table for you.
Information on PPI Drugs
Prilosec was the first PPI to come onto the market in 1989. It targets acid that the stomach creates to digest food. Some people produce too much acid, or the acid travels up the esophagus, which can cause a burning sensation and damage to the esophageal wall and vocal chords. Too much gastric acid can also exacerbate ulcers and cause other health conditions. For this reason, many people must control their stomach acid. Taking a PPI is a popular way to do so.
Doctors regularly prescribe many different PPIs to treat GERD, including:
You may know some of these drugs by their generic names:
In addition to prescription PPIs, some over-the-counter products treat frequent heartburn:
- Prilosec OTC
- Nexium 24HR
- Prevacid 24HR
- Zegerid OTC
Some of the worldwide pharmaceutical giants earn significant profits from producing PPIs. In 2016, AstraZeneca reported $7 million in Prilosec sales and $419 million in Nexium sales. Takeda Pharmaceuticals also made about $179 million in Prevacid sales. The PPI market is an enterprise worth billions of dollars, and it’s no surprise that these companies want to continue selling such products without issue.
Always take these medications as prescribed and not for longer than needed. Research has shown that different types of PPIs are chemically similar and produce similar results and effectiveness. Unfortunately, this also means the risks and possible side effects are all similar, as well.
Harm Suffered by PPI Users
All drugs come with some risk of side effects. Common side effects of PPIs that can cause minor issues for users include:
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
- Joint pain
While inconvenient and uncomfortable, these side effects alone rarely cause long-term issues or require extensive medical treatments.
Some side effects are significantly more serious, including kidney damage and stomach cancer.
Kidney Damage from PPIs
Research has indicated that taking proton pump inhibitors can lead to serious kidney problems. Many PPI users who develop kidney issues showed no signs of kidney damage before starting GERD treatment.
PPIs can affect the kidneys by causing acute interstitial nephritis or acute kidney injury (AKI), which can both lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). In some cases, PPI users have suddenly discovered they suffer from CKD without any signs of AKI or other kidney damage. One minute, users may think their kidneys are fine—and the next, they may be battling life-threatening kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease can cause:
- Nerve damage
- Bone weakness
- Increased blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Blood vessel disease
- Kidney failure
People who suffer kidney failure due to CKD must undergo regular dialysis or a kidney transplant just to stay alive. If untreated, CKD can kill its victims.
The sooner that doctors diagnose you with kidney disease, the sooner you can halt the progression of the condition. However, the symptoms of kidney damage are not always apparent or consistent, so many people miss them until the disease has progressed substantially and may prove irreparable. Symptoms include:
- Increased urination
- Sleep problems
- Lack of concentration
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Itchy and dry skin
- Puffy eyes
- Swelling of the ankles and feet
Many of these symptoms are associated with different medical issues—or even none at all. For instance, someone with trouble sleeping may believe that has caused puffy eyes and increased exhaustion. They may not associate these symptoms with a life-threatening condition for some time.
There is no cure for chronic kidney disease, and treatments will instead involve managing the symptoms and effects of the disease. This can include a host of medications to control blood pressure, anemia, and cholesterol, as well as to increase bone strength and relieve inflammation. Patients with end-stage kidney disease will need a transplant or ongoing dialysis. Many people with CKD spend a lot of time in the hospital, and the costs of treatment can overwhelm them.
Increased Risk of Stomach Cancer
Studies have also linked PPIs to substantially increased risks of stomach cancer. The risk keeps increasing the longer a patient takes PPIs. Patients who took PPIs on a daily basis for a year were five times more likely to suffer stomach cancer. The risk increased by eight times after taking PPIs for three years.
Like any type of cancer, there is no cure, and going without treatment can kill you. Anyone taking PPIs must remain vigilant regarding the signs of stomach cancer, which can include:
- Weight loss without explanation
- Feeling overly bloated after meals
- Getting full with only a little food
- Severe and constant indigestion
- Persistent nausea without explanation
- Persistent vomiting
- Severe stomach pain
The prognosis for stomach cancer patients will largely depend on what stage at which the doctor diagnoses it. Stage I cancer usually affects only the top layer of the stomach tissue and is more easily treated. On the other hand, Stage IV cancer has often spread throughout the body and is much more difficult to treat, making it far more fatal.
Stomach cancer treatments can cause terrible pain, including:
- Surgery to remove tumors, lymph nodes, or part or all of the stomach
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted drugs
Many of these highly invasive treatments for stomach cancer can wreak havoc on the body—not to mention their enormous costs.
Did You Suffer Injuries From PPIs?
Were you diagnosed with kidney disease or stomach cancer after taking proton pump inhibitors? If so, you may have the right to take legal action against the PPI manufacturer. These companies have long known about these serious risks, yet they continue to sell these medications to the public to gain a profit. You should not have to deal with a life-threatening illness simply because you wanted to relieve your heartburn.
Patients with kidney damage or stomach cancer can incur overwhelming losses. Not only are the medical treatments expensive, but these conditions can disrupt other aspects of your life as well. You may have to miss work or quit your job, stop participating in your favorite activities, and you may deal with severe pain on a daily basis. By taking legal action, you can seek fair compensation for the following and more:
- Medical bills
- Future medical treatments you will need
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Mental trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent damage
Such compensation cannot reverse a life-changing diagnosis of CKD or stomach cancer. It can, however, help you battle these serious conditions with fewer financial worries, and provide you with a sense of justice by holding these pharma companies accountable for their actions.
While you may have read about the connection between your medication and your newly developed medical issues, you may not know what to do next. The legal system is complicated, especially when it comes to pharmaceutical cases! Always make your first step a discussion about your situation with a credible lawyer who handles this particular type of case.
Mass Tort PPI Claims
People began filing lawsuits for PPI injuries a couple of years ago, and hundreds of claims existed then and now. The court agreed to combine cases in multidistrict litigation out of New Jersey, which currently includes more than 500 claims. While this type of mass tort class action case can help plaintiffs receive compensation more efficiently, most people have no idea how to begin joining such a massive legal action. In fact, many lawyers don’t know how to begin to handle this type of injury case! To ensure your best chance of joining the litigation, you need a law firm that handles mass tort cases.
The drugs currently cited in the lawsuits include Prilosec, Prilosec OTC, Nexium, Nexium 24HR, Prevacid 24HR, Protonix, and Dexilant. Some of the claims against drug companies involved in these cases include:
- Negligent misrepresentation
- Deceptive advertising
- Failure to warn of risks
- Producing and selling a defective product
Your lawyer may determine which claims apply to your case and may help you initiate your lawsuit. MDL cases have complicated procedures and rules, so you need the right legal representation every step of the way.
Patients with kidney disease or stomach cancer are not the only ones eligible to join in the litigation. If you have lost a loved one due to one of these conditions after they took PPIs, you can join the case with a wrongful death claim. Families may seek recovery for the lost financial support of their loved one, lost companionship and care, emotional grief, expenses related to the death, and more. Even if you’re not the one who suffered harm from the PPIs, please feel free to call and discuss your situation with a member of our legal team.
Our PPI Stomach Cancer Attorneys Can Fight for Your Rights
We’re sure you’ve seen commercials on television for lawsuits stemming from harmful pharmaceuticals, and you likely never imagined it would happen to you or your family. However, once you receive a life-threatening diagnosis of kidney disease or stomach cancer, you may begin to wonder about your legal rights to hold drug companies responsible for your losses.
While medical treatments for serious conditions may consume a lot of your time and leave you feeling drained, you shouldn’t wait to call an attorney to learn about your rights. Initiating a legal case may seem like added stress—but not when you have the right attorney on your side you can focus on your healing, while we focus on your rights, and fight for them! Our lawyers will handle every step of the process for you and keep you informed of the progress of your case.
If you’ve suffered a PPI injury, the attorneys at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, are here for you! Our lawyers have decades of experience handling complex cases, so please call (800) 898-4877 or contact us now by clicking HERE to discuss your rights for FREE.
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Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.