The Prilosec attorneys at the Drug Law Center are now accepting monetary compensation claims for patients who have suffered serious side effects by the heartburn medication.
Prilosec (omeprazole) is a highly popular proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication used to treat effectively treat heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues. The medication is often recommended for treatment of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), stomach ulcers, persistent cough, difficulty in swallowing, and esophagus injuries. Statistics gathered in 2016 indicate that nearly 20 million individuals in the United States use some form of PPI medication including Prilosec to control stomach acid levels. Proton pump inhibitors including highly popular Prilosec have been associated with the increased potential of suffering a heart attack along with many other severe adverse side effects including kidney failure and kidney damage. In 2017, many men and women have filed Prilosec lawsuits claiming that they suffered serious injuries from taking the prescribed and over-the-counter medication. Today, AstraZeneca has generated billions in global sales of Prilosec and other PPI medications, producing profits that might be at the expense of many consumers.
History of Prilosec
In 1989, Astra AB launched Prilosec (omeprazole) using the brand-name Losec. The next year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that the manufacturer change the brand-name to Prilosec in the hopes of avoiding confusion between the name Losec and Lasik, the popular diuretic. Unfortunately, pharmacists began confusing Prilosec with Prozac, the pharmaceutical industry’s most popular antidepressant.
Since its initial launch, the company changed its name to AstraZeneca. By 2001 the U.S. patent on Prilosec expired. At this time, AstraZeneca introduced a new patented replacement medication (Nexium – generic esomeprazole). Soon afterward, many pharmaceutical companies began selling generic versions of the medication.
How Prilosec Works
Millions of microscopic pumps in the lining of the stomach produce and release acid used to break down consumed food. This action can be interrupted when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxes and allows excessive amounts of acid to reflux (flow upwards) into the esophagus. This reaction produces a painful sensation often referred to as “heartburn.”
Prilosec taken in the right dosage will block the active stomach pumps directly to minimize the production of stomach acid before it begins. While Prilosec and Nexium are similar medications, their chemical makeup is slightly different. To be effective, either medication should be taken prior to eating meals to avoid the production of excessive acid instead of attempting to treat the acid that has already been released into the stomach.
Who Should Take Prilosec?
Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) do not provide immediate relief serious gastrointestinal problems including heartburn. Many individuals confuse the sensation of heartburn with heart attack symptoms. The sensation might not be heartburn if the individual is experiencing nausea, pain expresses the shoulder or arm, have a feeling chest pain, general ill feeling, or sweating. Additionally, individuals who are allergic to Prilosec, omeprazole, benzimidazole, mebendazole or albendazole should avoid taking these proton pump inhibitors.
If the patient has a history of low magnesium levels in the bloodstream, heart disease or liver disease, their doctor can recommend Prilosec if it is safe to take.
Doctors will often prescribe Prilosec in combination with effective antibiotics. Like most medications used with antibiotics, it is never recommended to change the drug or dosage without advice from the doctor. The efficacy of using Prilosec concomitantly with antibiotics is determined by the length of time both drugs are used. Symptoms often improve long before the infection is gone.
It is never recommended to take Prilosec OTC (over-the-counter) more than 14 days in a row. Additionally, individuals should wait four months or longer before beginning another round of 14-day treatments.
Common Prilosec Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
Many individuals take Prilosec in the hopes of diminishing the sensation of heartburn before, during and after eating. However, they might also experience serious side effects that threaten their life, health, and well-being.
Individuals experiencing severe allergic reactions and serious side effects should seek out immediate emergency medical assistance especially if they have difficulty in breathing, have developed times or have the swelling out the face, throat, tongue, or lips. The most common Prilosec side effects include:
- Bloodier watery diarrhea
- Severe stomach pain
- Kidney issues including excessive or minimal urination, blood in the urine, rapid weight gain, or swelling
- Low magnesium symptoms including confusion, dizziness, shaking (tremors), uneven or fast heart rate, feeling jittery, jerky muscle movements, excessive coughing, or the sensation of choking along with muscle spasms in the feet or hands.
Less severe side effects when taking Prilosec can include uncomfortable gas, stomach pain, headache, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea.
Prilosec-related Renal Failure
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases defines kidney failure (renal failure) as substantial damage to the kidney so it functions at only 15 percent of its capacity. Peer-research reports published in BMC Nephrology, a highly respected medical journal, has revealed the correlation between AIN (acute interstitial nephritis) and long-term Prilosec (omeprazole) use. AIN is a serious condition that affects the interstitium of the kidneys caused my inflammation surrounding renal tubules.
Common indicators and symptoms associated with renal failure likely caused by Prilosec use involve:
- A swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, legs and/or face
- A buildup of blood-based phosphates that have the potential of causing muscle cramps and bone damage.
- A buildup of blood-based potassium that has the potential of causing muscle paralysis and abnormal heart rhythms.
- Polycystic kidney disease that produces large cysts filled with fluid that form on the liver and kidneys.
- Excessive levels of blood-based commonly known to cause weight loss, dehydration, blood in the year and decreasing or increasing urination.
What to Watch for
The FDA has issued warnings about the potential side effects and adverse reactions for acid reflux disease, heartburn, or other gastrointestinal conditions. These warnings state you should watch for:
- Bone Fracture – Many individuals taking daily doses of Prilosec, Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors over the long term might increase their risk of developing bone fractures in the spine, wrist, and hips.
- Severe Diarrhea – Prilosec users can easily develop is Clostridium difficile (C. diff), a contagious intestinal infection that creates stomach pain, watery stool, and a never-ending fever.
- Low Levels of Magnesium – long-term use (three months or longer) of Prilosec other PPIs could create low magnesium level symptoms.
- Vitamin B12 Deficiency – Prilosec users can develop a vitamin B12 deficiency because the medication is designed to reduce stomach acid levels that are necessary to observe vitamin B12 properly.
Courts to Handle Mounting Prilosec Lawsuits
Prilosec lawsuits are mounting in federal and state courts involving PPI-related kidney disease, kidney failure, and serious renal (kidney) complications. At this stage, there is no way to predict the outcome of the Prilosec lawsuit settlements. However, many of the plaintiffs are suffering similar problems, injuries, and damages that include:
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Acute interstitial nephritis
- Acute kidney injuries
- Kidney or renal failure
- Prilosec-related dialysis treatments
- Prilosec-related kidney transplants
If and when the government reaches a Prilosec class action settlement, plaintiffs participating in multidistrict litigation cases will likely receive substantial compensation to recover:
- Past, ongoing and future medical expenses
- Prilosec-related injury hospitalization costs
- emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of earning capacity of potential future income
- Wrongful death caused by kidney-associated complication
The time to act is now before the state statute of limitations expires and victims no longer have the legal right to obtain financial recompense from every party at fault for their damages. Named defendants in a Prilosec lawsuit could involve the pharmaceutical company, drug marketers, and healthcare providers who recommended or prescribed medication.
- Prilosec Lawsuit Filed by a California Woman Awaiting a Kidney Transplant
April 2017 – A woman in California awaiting a kidney transplant has made allegations against AstraZeneca claiming that her long-term use of Prilosec as a connection to irreparable damage to her kidneys. The plaintiff filed for Prilosec lawsuit in February 2017 in the US District Court for the Eastern District of California. The woman has made claims that the drug maker failed to warn her of the potential Prilosec kidney risks and had she been made aware of the potential developing kidney damage through the heartburn medication usage she likely would have chosen a form of treatment.
- Prilosec Lawsuit Alleges AstraZeneca Product Caused End-Stage Kidney Disease
April 2017 – AstraZeneca, the makers of Prilosec and Nexium are facing a lawsuit recently filed in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey by a female plaintiff alleging that she and her doctors were intentionally misled because AstraZeneca markets the medication as being safe. The plaintiff also has claimed that the drug maker failed to disclose the potential risk of kidney damage when taking Prilosec or Nexium. The woman is seeking financial compensation because the continued use of the medication caused her kidney problem to worsen to the point where she developed end-stage kidney disease.
- Dangerous C. Diff Infections Linked to Prilosec and Nexium Usage
March 2017 – In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration, issued a warning claiming that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) including Prilosec might increase the risk of patients developing C. diff (Clostridium difficile) and highly contagious infection. The FDA base their warning on many adverse event reports filed by PPI users. The Food and Drug Administration stated that “Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a bacterium that can cause diarrhea that does not improve. Symptoms include watery stool, abdominal pain, and fever, and patients may go on to develop [a] more serious intestinal condition.”
- Motion Filed to Consolidate Prilosec Kidney Damage Lawsuits
New Orleans, LA (October 2016) – A motion seeking consolidation has been filed by Prilosec lawsuit plaintiffs hoping their complaints will be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) case. Their efforts hope to unify common allegations against drug makers who market PPI medications.
Are You Ready to File a Prilosec Claim?
The Prilosec injury, defective drug and product liability litigation team of attorneys at Drug Law Center have years of experience in successfully resolving defective medication lawsuits. We are skilled trial lawyers who fight aggressively on behalf of our clients when seeking to obtain the most financial compensation available for their case. Our law firm is currently accepting potential Prilosec injury claims and lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This means we will postpone payment of our legal services until we have successfully won your case at trial or negotiated an acceptable out-of-court settlement on your behalf.
We are building cases to argue at trial that the drug maker failed to properly warn patients, doctors and the public of the potential risks associated with PPI drugs including Prilosec to treat acid-related stomach issues. Contact us today so we can begin the process of building a solid case starting with a no obligation, case evaluation at no charge to you. All information you share with our law offices will remain confidential.