Individuals who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease and other conditions relative to excessive stomach acids have, for years, sought relief by turning to a class of medications known as proton pump inhibitors. The prescription medication known as Nexium, which ultimately became available over the counter, is hailed as one the best medications in this class. Often dubbed the little purple pill, Nexium (Esomeprazole) works by blocking the production of acid in the stomach which is a contributory cause for conditions like stomach and duodenal ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
WHAT ARE PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS
In paradoxical fashion, the drug that was intended to alleviate the discomfort associated with stomach acid has been linked to kidney failure. According to a CNN article, 96% of people taking proton pump inhibitors like Nexium have an increased risk of kidney failure, compared to those who took an alternative medicine like histamine H2 receptor blockers. What are histamine H2 receptor blockers? They are medications like Zantac, Pepcid, and Pepcid AC which have also been proven to treat excessive stomach acid. A study in the US National Library of Medicine determined that proton pump inhibitors have been overprescribed in the United States and abroad, and since the first proton pump inhibitor (Prilosec) was introduced in 2002, prescriptions for these medications have doubled.
CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
What does this all mean? A significant number of people have been diagnosed with kidney disease or kidney failure, resulting in a class action lawsuit brought against renown drug manufacturer AstraZeneca. Kidney failure and kidney disease can impede the body’s ability to remove waste and excess water and does not produce symptoms until the disease is in its advanced stages. Due to the staggering amount of people affected, a class action lawsuit was filed in the Suffolk County Superior Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 2013 a settlement was reached, and AstraZeneca agreed to pay $20 million to settle the claim which accused the drug manufacturer of deceptively marketing Nexium.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
What should you do if you believe you have suffered kidney failure as a result of using Nexium? It’s recommended that you procure supporting documentation from your doctor, which shows a correlation between your illness and your use of the drug. You will then need to confer with a Nexium lawyer, who will guide you through the process of joining the class action lawsuit. Since a settlement has already been reached, you will be entitled to a percentage of the damages (settlement money) provided that you can prove your health was negatively impacted by your use of the drug. A class action lawsuit is generally filed when there are too many plaintiffs to include in a standard personal injury lawsuit, and because an untold number of people have been impacted, this is the best way to ensure that everyone who has been impacted has a path towards compensation.
When we take any medication, we expect that it will be to our betterment, which is why drug companies have clinical trials. We don’t ever expect that our health would be compromised which is what happened to those who have used Nexium. If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease or kidney failure as a result of Nexium, contact an attorney today.