There are many health risks associated with PPIs. PPIs stands for proton pump inhibitors, a type of drug that reduces stomach acid.
While PPIs play an important role in managing certain conditions, they can also cause serious health problems, including an increased risk of bone fractures, kidney disease, and certain infections.
Treatment with PPIs
The stomach produces acid to aid with food digestion and absorption. Unfortunately, excessive stomach acid production can cause discomfort. Acid reflux, which occurs when stomach acid pushes up into the esophagus, can cause heartburn. Excess acid can cause gastritis and ulcers in the stomach and small intestine.
Stomach acid is also a problem for people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). According to Mayo Clinic, GERD occurs when stomach acid flows up into the esophagus frequently, causing moderate-to-severe acid reflux once a week or mild acid reflux twice a week.
According to the Merck Manual, PPIs are a common treatment for peptic ulcers, gastritis, and GERD. By reducing the amount of acid in the stomach, PPIs relieve symptoms and allow the tissue to heal.
There are many PPI medications available in the United States, and some of the most common over-the-counter versions are Prevacid, Prilosec, and Nexium.
Health Risks Associated with PPIs
Almost any medication can cause side effects, especially when used regularly. Because PPIs are typically used to treat chronic conditions, many people who use these medications take them over long periods of time. Here are some of the health risks associated with PPIs:
Increased Risk of Bone Loss and Osteoporosis
PPIs may cause bone loss, especially when taken in high doses or for a long time. Bone loss can contribute to osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become porous, weak, and brittle.
People with osteoporosis often stoop or hunch and break bones easily, especially the hip, wrist, and spine. Osteoporosis causes chronic pain and limited mobility, which can lead to isolation and depression. Many patients with osteoporosis require long-term care.
Increased Risk of Infection
PPI use is associated with an increased risk of several infections, including:
- C. difficile: According to the Cleveland Clinic, C. difficile is a bacterium that causes severe diarrhea that does not improve with time. In some cases, it can lead to colitis, which involves inflammation and infection of the colon. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning that PPIs can contribute to C. difficile-associated diarrhea.
- Pneumonia: The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reports an increased risk of community-acquired pneumonia in patients who use PPIs.
- COVID-19: American Journal of Gastroenterology reports that patients using PPIs are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Infectious gastroenteritis: The journal PLoS One reports an association between PPI use and hospitalizations for enteric infections, which affect the stomach and intestines, caused by Campylobacter, Salmonella, and C. difficile.
Increased Risk of Kidney Disease
PPIs have been implicated in kidney damage. A report in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that PPI users are at increased risk of two types of kidney disease:
- Acute kidney injury (AKI), in which the kidneys suddenly fail to adequately filter waste from the blood
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD), in which the kidneys gradually lose the ability to filter waste from the blood
Both conditions are serious and may lead to other conditions, such as kidney failure, stroke, and heart disease.
Legal Options for Injuries from PPI Use
If you have suffered an injury from PPI use, you may be able to take legal action against the people involved in distributing the drug, including the drug manufacturer, pharmaceutical sales representatives, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and doctors. There are laws to protect people from defective products, including prescription medications with dangerous side effects.
In some cases, drug manufacturers knowingly distribute medications that can cause injuries. They may purposely downplay any potentially dangerous side effects through misleading marketing. If you have been injured by taking PPIs, you may be entitled to financial compensation known as damages from the manufacturer and other parties involved in prescribing, providing, or marketing these drugs.
A lawyer with Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can evaluate your case to see if you are entitled to damages. You may deserve compensation for expenses such as:
- Medical bills for hospitalizations, surgeries, X-rays, dialysis, and prescription medications
- Long-term care expenses
- Pain and suffering
Your lawyer can help you determine which parties are at fault for your injuries and file a claim with the appropriate insurance providers. We can handle all communications with the insurance company, including negotiating a settlement.
If we cannot negotiate a reasonable settlement, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
If you suffer from health problems associated with PPI use, reach out to the team at Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers today by calling (855) 529-0269. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get to work on your case.