Proton pump inhibitors are over-the-counter medications used to treat heartburn. When effective, they reduce stomach acid.
It’s uncommon for patients to experience major side effects when taking these medications. However, when they do, the side effects can be extremely dangerous. It’s important to be familiar with the potential risks involved in taking proton pump inhibitors.
The following information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always coordinate with your doctor when making treatment choices.
Proton Pump Inhibitors Drugs on the Market Today
Some proton pump inhibitors are available over the counter. Others can be obtained through a prescription.
The following are among the more well-known brands of these drugs:
- Nexium (esomeprazole)
- Prilosec (omeprazole)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)
- Zegerid (omeprazole)
- Protonix (pantoprazole)
- AcipHex (rabeprazole)
Prilosec and Nexium are the most popular proton pump inhibitor brands. Both are available over the counter.
What Do Proton Pump Inhibitors Treat?
Although generally a heartburn drug, proton pump inhibitors may be used to treat a range of conditions.
- Gastritis: A general term for various conditions involving inflammation of the stomach lining.
- Barrett’s Esophagus: A condition in which a portion of the tube connecting the stomach and mouth is damaged.
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome: A digestive disorder involving excessive levels of gastric acid.
- Dyspepsia: General indigestion.
Major side effects of proton pump inhibitors are rare. Accordingly, they became a popular form of treatment for these conditions.
Minor short-term side effects can include:
- Stomach pain
Unfortunately, researchers eventually discovered that taking proton pump inhibitors could put one at risk of experiencing serious side effects. The FDA has since recommended that courses of treatment involving proton pump inhibitors last no longer than 14 days at a time.
Potential Serious Side Effects of Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors limit the body’s creation of stomach acid. However, this can also prevent the body from absorbing necessary minerals.
Consequently, patients who take proton pump inhibitors may be at risk of developing:
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD) – A kidney illness that typically leads to renal failure.
- Acute kidney injury (AKI) – A condition that prevents the kidneys from removing waste in the blood.
- Acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) – Kidney tubule swelling.
- End-stage renal disease (ESRD) – A condition that may result in renal failure because the kidneys can’t remove waste from the blood.
Additionally, some patients who have taken proton pump inhibitors have later been more likely to experience strokes, dementia, and pneumonia. Their bones may also fracture more easily than those of the average person. A study also found that children whose mothers took proton pump inhibitors during the first trimester of their pregnancy had double the odds of developing congenital heart defects.
Proton Pump Inhibitor Claims: What You Need To Know
Have you or a loved one been harmed by taking proton pump inhibitors? You should contact a personal injury attorney right away. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering related to your injuries.
A lawyer will help you determine who should be the target of your claim. For instance, if your doctor prescribed a proton pump inhibitor without warning you of the potential side effects, you may have a medical malpractice case. Alternatively, you may have a product defect claim against the manufacturer of your proton pump inhibitors for failure to warn.
What’s most important is that you take action sooner rather than later. You could lose your right to compensation if you wait too long.