Written by: Heather Helmendach, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.
In the first article of the Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec Series, I gave a brief overview of some of the possible side effects of these PPI drugs. I will now expand on this previous discussion to provide more detailed information about these conditions. Please know that I am not qualified to give medical advice, and am simply summarizing recent studies concerning the possible side effects of Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid.
1. Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN)
Medline Plus defines AIN as "a kidney disorder in which the spaces between the kidney tubules become swollen (inflamed). This can cause problems with the way your kidneys work."
This is often diagnosed after a kidney biopsy procedure is done, which often consists of a thin biopsy needle inserted into the back.
2. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
According to Medline Plus, "Chronic kidney disease (CKD) means that your kidneys are damaged and can't filter blood as they should. This damage can cause wastes to build up in your body."
There are five stages of CKD, and kidney function slowly declines from one stage to the next.
3. Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)
Medscape defines acute kidney injury (AKI) as "an abrupt or rapid decline in renal filtration function."
The Abstract of the article, PPIs and Kidney Disease: from AIN to CKD provides some valuable information as it relates to PPIs and the aforementioned conditions:
While PPIs have an excellent overall safety profile, concerns have been raised about adverse renal events, specifically their association with acute interstitial nephritis (AIN)...PPI-induced AIN is often subtle and without systemic allergic manifestations; subclinical, leading to gradually progressive kidney failure; delayed, median time from drug initiation to AIN diagnosis often exceeds 6 months; and often unsuspected prior to a biopsy. While the association between PPIs and AIN is well described, the population incidence of PPI-induced AIN and its contribution to the burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) was unclear, until recently.
The aforementioned study concluded that patients who were prescribed PPIs not only had a higher risk of AIN, but also CKD and acute kidney injury.
4. End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) / Kidney Failure
ESRD is also called kidney failure or end-stage kidney disease, which Medline Plus defines as "the last stage of chronic kidney disease. This is when your kidneys can no longer support your body's needs."
The article, Proton Pump Inhibitors and Risk of Incident CKD and Progression to ESRD, confirms the findings of the aforementioned article, saying their "results suggest that PPI exposure associates with increased risk of incident CKD, CKD progression, and ESRD.
It is very important to note that diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) are common causes of the aforementioned kidney issues. Having either one of these conditions (or other preexisting conditions) may prove to be a challenging legal obstacle if a patient decides to pursue a lawsuit against the manufacturers of Nexium, Prilosec, or Prevacid after using these drugs and suffering significant kidney damage.
In my next article of this series, I will discuss exactly what was known about the relationship between PPIs and kidney damage, and at what time such information was made available.
Until then, we will continue to monitor the medical literature concerning Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid and their link to kidney injuries.
Drug Injury Watch: Side Effects News & Reports
Drug Injury Law: Medical & Legal Information