Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) are a type of prescription medication that prevent and treat ulcers in the Duodenum and the stomach. The Duodenum is located at the top part of the small intestine and is where ulcers are most likely to develop. PPI medication is also commonly prescribed to alter complications that occur when the acid escapes the intestines and moves near the esophagus. When the movement of acid to the esophagus is a reoccurring problem, it is called Gastro Esophageal Reflex Disease (GERD).
Many patients who have taken PPI medication over the years have started to develop a range of serious side effects and complications resulting from the drugs. There have been numerous studies linking these drugs to serious medical conditions, and patients are beginning to file legal claims and lawsuits against the drug companies.
How do PPI’s Work?
When the stomach glands produce excess acid contents, Proton Pump Inhibitors absorb them from the blood stream and prevent additional acid from being produced. These drugs have consistently been among the most popular and profitable medications in the United States for decades, and therefore there are a large number of people who may have been adversely affected by PPI medication.
Originally, PPIs were a prescription medication, meaning a patient could would not have access to the drug unless a doctor specifically prescribed it. But in 2003, the FDA approved an over-the-counter (OTC) version of Prilosec, making it more accessible to patients all over the country. PPIs are mostly prescribed to treat Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Acid Peptic Disease, Dyspepsia, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, Peptic or Stomach Ulcers, and Acid Reflux Disease.
Other PPIs that have been found to have negative side effects on patients include Protonix (Pantoprazole) and Prevacid (Lansoprazole).
PPI Medication Side Effects
Common side effects associated with use of Proton Pump Inhibitors include headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness and joint pain. Some of the more serious side effects and injuries associated with taking PPIs include severe acid reflex, heart burn, peptic ulcers, gastritis, Barrett’s Esophagus, allergic reactions, gastrinomas or other stomach tumors and Zollinger Ellison Syndrome.
Concerning FDA Warnings
Reports of complications associated with PPI’s from patients and researchers resulted in additional warnings on PPI Boxes by the FDA. The warnings highlight various risks associated with use of Proton Pump Inhibitors. FDA PPI warnings have included Diarrhea, decreased levels of magnesium, and fractures to the hip, wrist and spine.
How H2 Blockers Differ from Proton Pump Inhibitors
H2 blockers are not prescription drugs and can be bought over the counter. They differ from PPI’s because they decrease the production of acid in the stomach by blocking signals to the histamine receptors that are responsible for the production of acid. This differs from PPI’s that shut down the pumps in the cell pumps that produce the acid in the stomach.
H2 Blockers take about an hour to begin working and can last up to 12 hours. This differs from PPI’s which take hours to begin working and can last 24 hours and the effects of the drug can last up to three days.
Research and Scientific Studies
PPI’s & Dementia
In a seven year study involving 73,679 elderly patients 3,000 of which used PPI’s regularly, researchers found that users of PPI’s had a significantly increased chance of developing dementia. The study took place in 2011 and was conducted by physicians and researchers in Germany. Additional information about this study can be found here: http://archneur.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2487379&guestaccesskey=f0e2c640-8758-4b8f-a291-dd645c30daad&utm_source=silverchair+information+systems
PPI’s & Kidney Complications
In a 9 year study of medical records of 290,592 Canadian patients, researchers found that patients using PPI’s were more likely to suffer from kidney injuries in comparison to patients who did not use PPI’s. Additional information about the study can be found here: http://cmajopen.ca/content/3/2/E166.full
In a report that was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) researchers found that long term PPI users were more likely to suffer from chronic kidney failure in comparison to non-users. And in another study, a group of Canadian researchers reviewed nine years of medical records of 290,592 people, and concluded that PPI users were more likely suffer from acute kidney injury than non-PPI users.
Filing a Lawsuit or Claim for PPI Side Effects
If you or a loved one has suffered from kidney related injuries from taking PPI’s contact us at the Davis Law Group at (206) 727-4000 to hear about your legal options. Our case investigators are available 24/7 and can schedule you for a free consultation with our award winning attorneys. Our firm has over twenty years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death claims and has handled various class action suits. Call us today at (206) 727-4000 and get the representation and compensation that you deserve.