Proton Pump Inhibitor Risks

Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, and Others May Increase Risk of Heart Attack

Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid are three popular brands of heart burn medication.  These drugs, which fall into the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) class are used by millions of Americans to prevent heart burn or acid reflux.  These drugs work amazingly well to help stop this unwanted condition; but they also have a number of side effects that are less than desirable.  The latest study on these drugs shows that they can increase the risk of suffering from a heart attack.

For those who have used one of these drugs, and have suffered from a serious adverse side effect, you do have recourse.  The dangerous drug attorneys at Arentz Law Group P.C. are ready to handle your case and help you receive the compensation that you deserve.  By filing your PPI lawsuit, you can collect compensation to help cover medical bills and other damages.  Simple schedule your free consultation by calling 1-800-305-6000, or by filling out the contact form on this page.


How PPI’s Work to Prevent Acid Reflux

PPI’s have been around for decades.  In fact, Prilosec, a drug made by AstraZeneca, was developed in the late 1970’s.  This drug has worked wonders for many people, and it has helped to prevent many cases of esophagus erosion.  Many of the other PPI’s work in nearly an identical manner.

An individual who suffers from acid reflux knows the discomfort due to acidity levels in the stomach that are higher than normal.  To bring up the pH in the stomach drugs were introduced.  Prior to Prilosec the drugs available would help to raise the pH from 1 to 2; not a huge increase but better than nothing.  PPI’s revolutionized the way heartburn and acid reflux are treated.

Prilosec, and the subsequent other drugs that have hit the market, do much the same as the previous drugs.  After eating an individual takes the drug and helps to disable the proteins in the stomach that produce H+ ions.  By doing so the drug prevents stomach acids from forming (or over-forming) and raises the acidity of the stomach from 1 to 5.  This makes them much more effective than their predecessors.


The History of Prilosec and Nexium

When people suffer from heartburn or acid reflux, they often think of taking heartburn or anti-acid reflux medication.  The two biggest names on the market are Prilosec and Nexium.  These drugs, however, are basically the same thing.

Prilosec, made and marketed by AstraZeneca, uses the drug omeprazole.  However, the medication also has a counterpart.  The omeprazole is the active ingredient, but Prilosec cannot be made without its mirror.  That mirror is effectively inert.

In the year 2000 AstraZeneca came out with a “new” heartburn medication.  This new drug, called Nexium, was able to separate the two components of Prilosec.  Essentially it was the exact same drug, but without the inert counterpart.  The result was that AstraZeneca could patent the same drug twice, and reap the rewards of highly effective marketing twice.

Because there are a lot of Americans that suffer from acid reflux, these drugs make a lot of money.  Prilosec, despite the fact that t is available as an over-the-counter drug, still makes the company many millions of dollars every quarter (data from 2013 shows over $150 million per quarter).  Nexium, since it was only recently made available over-the-counter, has earned even more.  In fact, the past several years this drug has sold around $1.5 billion per quarter; yes that’s around $6 billion each year.

This is all despite the fact that there are serious side effects that can occur as the result of taking this drug.


Studies on Proton Pump Inhibitors and Heart Attacks

Before a drug is brought to market it has to undergo a number of studies.  Shortly after it is discovered it enters into lab testing.  These tests are conducted on mice, rats, and other lab animals in an effort to discover if the drug is even safe to administer to humans.  The chemical compounds are tweaked as necessary.

After laboratory testing the drugs will undergo clinical testing.  Through this phase they are administered to thousands of humans who have volunteered to be test subjects.  Careful scrutiny is supposed to discover any, and all, of the possible side effects that could come as a result of taking these drugs.  If the drugs are proven to be safe, only then are they able to apply for approval from the FDA.

After a drug has been on the market for a few years, there is an abundance of medical data on the drugs.  This data is often un-biased and simply shows the patient’s sex, age, height, weight, and other un-identifying data, as well as all the medications they use and any medical problems that they have suffered.

Researchers use this data to determine if there is a correlation between certain drugs, and an increased risk of suffering from certain adverse side effects.  This is long after a drug has hit the market, and long after the drug company has already discovered these adverse side effects; only they chose to ignore them.

Prilosec, Nexium (which is chemically almost identical to Prilosec), and other PPI drugs have been under scrutiny lately with one of these studies.  One of those studies was published on the research site PLOS ONE in early June 2015.  The research found a correlation between taking these drugs, and an increased risk of heart attack.

Researchers, led by Nigam Shah, looked at over 16 million pieces of medical data from nearly 3 million individuals.  Using a new data mining technique they were able to quickly and effectively sort out the data and determine if the general public was at cardiovascular risk when taking a proton pump inhibitor drug.

The results of those tests showed that there was a 1.16 increased risk of suffering from an adverse cardiovascular condition when taking a PPI drug (that is, about a 16% increased risk).  The study went on to show that taking an H2 blocking drug, which is an alternate form of treatment, showed no increase in the risk of suffering from an adverse cardiovascular condition.


Contact Arentz Law Regarding Your Nexium Lawsuit

Those who suffer from heartburn or acid reflux know that they need to take something for their condition.  However, if that drug leads to a heart attack, is it worthwhile?  Most would agree that an alternative needs to be found.

For those who have taken Nexium, Prilosec, or another proton pump inhibitor drug, and they have suffered from an adverse side effect such as a heart attack; it is too late to find an alternative.  The damage has been done, and the drug manufacturer needs to be held accountable to remedy the problem.  Arentz Law Group can help you get the justice that you deserve.  Schedule your free consultation with a dangerous drug attorney in Southern California by calling 1-800-305-6000, or by filling out the contact form on this page.

Your Nexium lawsuit will help you receive compensation for medical expenses and other damages that you may have suffered.  Your lawsuit will also help to raise awareness that this drug is not safe to be used, and warnings should be made available to prevent further adverse side effects.  A dangerous drug attorney in Southern California can handle your case no matter what state you live in, and help you accomplish these goals.

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