Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are used to stop heartburn and reduce acid in your stomach. However, these powerful drugs also can be dangerous. The use of proton pump inhibitors could have a side effect, such as kidney damage, kidney disease, and kidney failure.
The South Carolina attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm are experienced in medical injuries and have been following the proton pump inhibitor problems. We may be able to assist you in recovering monetary compensation for your medical bills, ongoing care, and pain and suffering.
What Exactly Are Proton Pump Inhibitors?
Proton pump inhibitors work differently than some other heartburn medications on the market. The difference is that they don’t attempt to neutralize the acid in your stomach. They aren’t antacids. Proton pump inhibitors work to prevent your stomach from producing acid that causes your heartburn.
As you can imagine, this is a delicate thing to do. Your stomach lining has cells whose only job is to produce acid. These are called proton pumps which pump out positively charged hydrogen ions. The hydrogen ions from the stomach acid that allows your body to breakdown the food you’ve eaten. Too much acid causes heartburn or can irritate your stomach.
Proton pump inhibitors close down the acid production right at the source to resolve this problem. They block the proton pumps, which prevents them from releasing the hydrogen ions that create the acid. However, if used over some time, or too much, it can affect your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients from your food.
How Are Proton Pump Inhibitors Supposed to be Used?
There are three main situations where a proton pump inhibitor may be recommended by your medical professional. They are:
- Recurring Heartburn/GERD: We all get heartburn occasionally, but if it’s something you have on a regular basis, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a long term for acid reflux. This means that the bottom of your esophagus doesn’t fully seal, and your stomach contents, including acid, come back up your throat, burning it. Proton pump inhibitors can be useful in relieving GERD because they prevent the production of acid.
- Stomach Damage from NSAID Drugs: NSAID’s are pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin. NSAIDs are generally safe when used in small doses. Too much of these drugs, however, can cause your stomach lining to become damaged. Symptoms of NSAID induced gastropathy include stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
- Ulcers: Your stomach lining and small intestine are supposed to protect those organs from the acid they contain. However, sometimes this lining becomes damaged and is known as a peptic ulcer. These ulcers can cause burning pain and are linked to an imbalance in our digestive juices. Proton pump inhibitors are sometimes used to reduce the acid and can help relieve the pain and, long term may be able to help your ulcer heal.
Can a Proton Pump Inhibitor Be Inappropriately Prescribed?
Because proton pump inhibitors act fast, they are open to being overused. The most common inappropriate uses include:
- Heartburn: If you suffer from indigestion and acid reflux, you may consider a proton pump inhibitor to be a miracle drug. However, the best way to take care of heartburn, in the long run, is to change your diet and lifestyle. Many times, proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec may be continuously recommended. However, if you use the drug long term, you could end up with life-threatening side effects and severe damage.
- Prescribed With Steroids: Steroids are potent drugs that your doctor may prescribe for specific clinical reasons. However, sometimes a doctor could recommend that you take a proton pump inhibitor with the steroids. The idea is that the proton pump inhibitor will help prevent your stomach from being damaged.
The result of proton pump inhibitors being misused may result in kidney disease, broken bones, or other side effects.
What Medicines Are Proton Pump Inhibitors?
There’s a large number of drugs that are proton pump inhibitors. They include:
- Omeprazole – these are drugs with brand names like Prilosec, Gases, Omepral, UlcerGard, GastroGard, and others.
- Lansoprazole – these include Prevacid, Inhibitol and others
- Dexlansoprazole – Kapidex, Dexilant
- Esomeprazole – Nexium, Esotrax, esso
Could I Have A Proton Pump Lawsuit?
If you’ve taken any brand name or generic proton pump inhibitor either by prescription or over the counter, and you have kidney problems or broken bones, you may have a case.
The manufacturer of the proton pump inhibitor drug that you took may have acted with negligence, and they can be held responsible for your injuries.
The South Carolina attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm may be able to assist you in recovering monetary damages. While there may be no way to reverse your medical severe condition as a result of taking a proton pump inhibitor, you won’t have to bear the high costs of your care alone.