Nexium Lawsuit Says PPI Side Effects Ignored by Drug Maker

A lawsuit alleges that drug maker AstraZeneca failed to appropriately warn the public about the side effects of its popular heartburn medication Nexium.

PPI side effects include renal failure and kidney disease, says a Louisiana man in a lawsuit alleging he suffered renal failure after taking Nexium; however, AstraZeneca disregarded these side effects on the labeling of the drug, alleges the lawsuit.

“In omitting, concealing, and inadequately providing critical safety information regarding the use of Nexium in order to induce its purchase and use, Defendants engaged in and continue to engage in conduct likely to mislead consumers,” alleges the lawsuit.

AstraZeneca has garnered billions from the sale of Nexium, alleges the lawsuit. “More than 15 million Americans used prescription PPIs in 2013, costing more than $10 billion,” says the plaintiff. “However, it has been estimated that between 25% and 70% of these prescriptions have no appropriate indication.”

According to the Nexium lawsuit, the plaintiff began taking the drug in 2012 and continued to take it until 2015. He says at that point he suffered renal failure, a condition affecting the kidneys and a known PPI side effect. Other PPI side effects are acute interstitial nephritis, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal failure.

However, alleges the lawsuit, these known PPI side effects are not included on the warning label of Nexium, so doctors and patients are not aware of the risks.

“During the period in which Nexium has been sold in the United States, hundreds of reports of injury have been submitted to the FDA in association with ingestion of Nexium and other PPIs,” alleges the Nexium lawsuit.

“Defendants have had notice of serious adverse health outcomes through case reports, clinical studies and post-market surveillance. Specifically, Defendants had received numerous case reports of kidney injuries in patients that had ingested Nexium by as early as 2004. These reports of numerous kidney injuries put Defendants on notice as to the excessive risks of kidney injuries related to use of Nexium. However, Defendants took no action to inform Plaintiff or Plaintiff’s physicians of this known risk. Instead, Defendants continued to represent that Nexium did not pose any risks of kidney injury.”

The lack of warnings about PPI side effects on Nexium labels dupes the public into thinking the heartburn drug is safe. The lack of warnings also leads to continued use of the drug, the Nexium lawsuit states.

“Recent studies have shown the long-term use of PPIs was independently associated with a 20% to 50% higher risk of incident chronic kidney disease,” alleges the plaintiff.

Recent studies show that there are high risks associated with Nexium and other PPI drugs in general as well.

“A study from 2015 shows that acute kidney injuries increased 250% in elderly patients that were newly prescribed PPIs. The acute kidney injuries occurred with 120 days of the patients staring the PPIs,” points out the lawsuit.

Further, alleges the Nexium lawsuit, there are many safe alternative treatments for heartburn – some available over-the-counter.

The Nexium Lawsuit it James M. v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, et al., Case No. 2:16-cv-17903, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

If you or a loved one suffered from PPI side effects, contact the attorneys at Bradley/Grombacher to evaluate your claim.

Note: Bradley/Grombacher is not representing the plaintiff in this lawsuit.