Things That Could Hurt You: Prilosec

Things That Could Hurt You: Prilosec

What is it?

Prilosec-300x236Made by AstraZeneca, Prilosec is the brand name for a generic drug, omeprazole, used in combating acid reflux by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach.

Prilosec was the first of a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (“PPIs”), which are prescribed to treat chronic heart burn, acid reflux, and other gastrointestinal maladies. The reason Prilosec works is its active ingredient, omeprazole. Nexium, another drug that has been the subject of a great number of lawsuits, is a big competitor with Prilosec.  There is so much money in PPIs.  The manufacturers of these drugs have been in litigation with each other for a very long time, battling over patents and profits.

How popular is it?

Following its introduction in 1989. Prilosec rocketed to widespread popularity. In 2013, Prilosec sales were $358.8 million – making the drug the second-highest-selling over-the-counter digestive remedy. Prilosec belongs to a class of acid-reducing medicines on which the public spends over $14 billion a year.

The active ingredient in Prilosec, Omeprazole, is a racemic mixture containing S- and R-enantiomers. Enantiomers are molecules that have two Non-superimposable mirror image forms Racemic mixtures, such as omeprazole, contain equal proportions of the two enantiomers.

How could it hurt me?

Although it was not apparent at first, Prilosec may cause a wide range of serious side effects. Here are some conditions to which Prilosec may be linked:
· Kidney injury, disease, or even failure
· Cardiac disorders
· Heart attack
· Stroke
· Bone fractures
· Memory loss and dementia (possible 44% increase in risk according to one study)
· Birth defects

The big issue, and the subject of this litigation, is kidney disease. In April 2016, a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology looked at the association between Prilosec or other PPIs and kidney disease.  The results were eye popping.  PPI users may be as high as 96% more likely to develop kidney failure than non-PPI users and 28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease after five years on one of these drugs.

Were there proper warnings?

There were not proper warnings at first, plaintiff’s allege. Marketers gave Prilosec and similar drugs the hard sell, touting their safety and effectiveness. But now that Prilosec has been around for more than a quarter-century, there has been time for researchers to start seeing some troubling patterns. In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration finally ordered new warnings on Prilosec and related drugs. The question is: Did the manufacturers already know their products could cause serious side effects – but do nothing about it?  Are the warnings sufficient now?

Prilosec Settlement Value

A lot of victims who have suffered from this drug come to the Internet looking for the settlement value of the Prilosec cases.  Regrettably, it is impossible to predict how this litigation will pan out.  The first PPI kidney injury lawsuits were filed last year.  Could it take years for a settlement?  It could.  But there could also be a class action settlement the resolves the lion’s share of these cases.  It is just too soon to know.

What should I do?

First and foremost, don’t take Prilosec  — or stop taking it — without asking your doctor. They should be able to alert you to conditions that might make the drug unsafe for you.

But it would be wise if you are taking Prilosec to ask your doctor about possible side-effects that may be emerging in your particular case. The longer you have been taking Prilosec, the more you need to take this step.

If you have been taking Prilosec, and if you have been developing one of the many possible side-effects, then it may be time to get legal advice. You may deserve compensation for the expenses, medical and otherwise, that a side-effect has caused. Lawsuits for this purpose are starting to emerge – related to kidney damage, fractures, memory loss, and other issues.

Call 800-553-8082 or get a free-online no obligation case review here.

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  • robichris

    See the page PPI dangers on Barretts Wessex website to get the facts. Most of these scare stories are unproven correlation. You see more umbrellas when it rains. Umbrellas don’t make it rain. Those with kidney disease are more likely to take PPIs.

  • Ron Miller

    Maybe. Years ago they was the defense to the SSRI cases. Of course people who are taking anti-depressants are more likely to be committing suicide. So why should we add a warning? Then, the science became overwhelming.

    History is loaded with examples of medications that made the underlying condition much worse. We are going to get more science on this in the next 12-18 months.