Previously linked to an increased risk of kidney disease, renal failure, bone fractures and other serious health problems, Nexium, Prilosec and other popular proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medications commonly used to treat heartburn may also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes among users, according to the findings of a new study. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or another serious medical condition and you believe the diagnosis to be related to a widely-used drug like Nexium, do not hesitate to speak to a PPI injury attorney about your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses and other damages, which you can pursue by filing a product liability lawsuit against the drug manufacturing company.
In a study published in the journal Gut on September 28, researchers indicate that the popular class of heartburn drugs known as proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in users by nearly 25%. This class of drugs, which includes Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and other similar drugs, works by reducing the amount of acid produced by the stomach, thus relieving symptoms of heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers in the stomach, inflammation of the esophagus and other acid-related conditions. In order to evaluate the potential risk of type 2 diabetes linked to regular use of PPIs, the researchers in this new study conducted a prospective analysis of more than 204,000 participants who did not have diabetes in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), NHS II and Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). The researchers followed up with the study participants for an average of 10 years to determine how many of them developed diabetes.
The study authors documented 10,105 incident cases of diabetes among the study participants and concluded based on their findings, that regular PPI users faced a 24% higher risk of diabetes compared to non-users. “Regular use of PPIs was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and the risk increased with longer duration of use,” the researchers noted. “Physicians should therefore exercise caution when prescribing PPIs, particularly for long-term use.”
In addition to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, regular users of Nexium and other PPI drugs may also be more likely to suffer from kidney damage, kidney failure, bone fractures and other serious side effects, years of research shows. In December 2014, the FDA required new warnings for PPI drugs, including Nexium, indicating that acute interstitial nephritis, an important cause of acute renal failure, may occur in patients taking the heartburn drugs. A study published in the journal CMAJ Open in April 2015 found that side effects of Nexium and other PPIs may expose users to a 2.5-times increased risk of acute kidney injury and a three-times increased risk of acute interstitial nephritis. Unfortunately, the potential side effects of PPIs don’t end there. In two separate studies published in BMJ Open and Gut in October 2017, researchers indicated that long-term use of proton pump inhibitors also exposed users to a potentially increased risk of gastric cancer.
The potential risk of type 2 diabetes linked to PPI drugs raises concerns about the potential health risks associated with the heartburn and acid reflux drugs that are used by millions of Americans and widely viewed as safe. There are currently more than 15,000 lawsuits pending in courts across the country over alleged side effects of proton pump inhibitors like Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix and Prevacid. All of the lawsuits involve similar allegations that the manufacturers of these best-selling medications withheld information about the serious kidney risks and other problems associated with their products for years, thus robbing consumers of the right to weigh the benefits and risks of the drugs before deciding whether or not to use them.
Prilosec, Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors are among the most commonly used drugs in the United States and worldwide, used by millions of people to relieve symptoms of heartburn, acid reflux and other conditions caused by too much acid in the stomach. Many PPIs are available both in prescription form and as an over-the-counter product, which means their overall use is likely underestimated. PPI drugs have proven to be effective in managing GERD, heartburn and acid reflux when taken for a short period of time. However, serious concerns have been raised about the safety of long-term PPI use, which has been linked to a number of severe health conditions. If you believe you have suffered an adverse side effect of Nexium or another proton pump inhibitor, such as diabetes, kidney injury or kidney failure, contact us today to find out if you are eligible to file a claim against the drug maker for compensation.