PPI cancer lawsuits are becoming more and more frequent. People file them because they got stomach cancer as a result of taking PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) Prilosec, Nexium, and other variations of both drugs. PPIs are used for treating various stomach diseases but supposedly can cause even worse stomach issues.
If you are about to use PPIs, make sure you educate yourself about potential side effects. In case you were diagnosed with stomach cancer after using these drugs, keep reading to learn what you can do about your case.
What are Proton Pump Inhibitors?
Proton pump inhibitors are medications that decrease the number of stomach accidents found in the stomach lining. It helps relieve symptoms of acid reflux, a condition where food or liquid goes back up to the esophagus. It can also treat a stomach ulcer, lower esophagus damage resulting from acid reflux, but it can be used to treat heartburn as well. PPIs come in various brand names such as Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, AcipHex, Protonix, or Dexilant.
The most common side effects can cause a headache, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and itching. Serious long-term side effects may include infections and bone fractures.
PPIs can also severely affect the kidneys as well. PPIs are linked to serious kidney complications. Patients who took PPIs had about 96% risk to get kidney failure than those who did not. PIs users have a 28% risk of developing chronic kidney disease after five years of taking the drug.
Studies show that there may be a link between PPIs and gastric cancer. The studies were documented by Hong Kong-based researchers. Within the period of nine years, more than 63,000 adults in Hong Kong were observed, and it was discovered that those who took PPIs (Nexium and Prilosec) had doubled their risk of gastric cancer.
Esomeprazole, known under the name Nexium, is a PPI frequently used to treat many stomach conditions such as upset stomach, peptic ulcer disease, indigestion, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. It comes in packages of 20-40 milligram capsules and is usually taken once or twice a day. It can also be given intravenously.
Its side effects include kidney issues, bone fractures, lupus, and severe diarrhea and stomach growth. Often it can cause a reaction to patients allergic to esomeprazole.
Omeprazole, or generally sold as Prilosec, is a PPI used for treating gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and erosive esophagitis. It is seldom used in combination with antibiotics for treating ulcers involving bacterial infections. Omeprazole is used to treat Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a condition involving excessive acid production in the stomach. It also helps treat dyspepsia, which causes sour stomach, belching, heartburn, and indigestion. Omeprazole is used to treat upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding. It is also available both over the counter or a prescription drug.
What Do the PPI Cancer Lawsuits Claim?
The PPI cancer lawsuits allege that proton-pump inhibitors are related to a special type of stomach cancer called non-cardia adenocarcinoma. Such stomach cancers develop outside of the “cardia,” which is the top of the stomach, where it connects to the esophagus.
Proton-pump inhibitors should treat stomach acid conditions like GERD, acid reflux disease, peptic ulcers, indigestions, and dyspepsia. Prilosec and then Prevacid and Nexium, are fundamentally the same – a pyridine and benzimidazole moiety linked by a methylsulfonyl group. PPIs will block the proton pump of the gastric parietal cells, which is the last step before the stomach produces acid.
When PPIs reduce stomach acid, they stimulate the production of gastrin, which is a powerful growth hormone. Most patients who took PPIs for a long time developed hypergastrinemia, which in turn promotes cell hyperplasia, excessive cell growth that can turn into cancer.
Will the FDA Recall PPIs?
Under federal law, drug manufacturers and not the FDA, carry the responsibility for the content of their warning labels. The FDA has implementation mechanisms and sometimes forces drug manufacturers to include warnings. However, the FDA does not have sufficient resources to monitor every side effect for all drugs. Federal law requires drug companies to do that and expects the companies to add warnings.
If you’ve developed stomach cancer after taking PPIs, you should consider filing a PPI cancer lawsuit against the drug manufacturer. Your health would not have worsened if the manufacturer had added the warning.
Call our office today, and we will listen to your case, advise you on your next step and help you get justice on your side.