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By Jim Adler September 6, 2016

A new study has found that PPI (proton pump inhibitor) drugs can cause injuries and ailments such as fluid buildup in the abdomen and a loss of brain function. These injuries are in addition to the 50 per cent greater risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) caused by PPI drugs such as Nexium and Prilosec.

Those drugs are used to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux, in which acidic gastric fluid regurgitates into the esophagus, causing heartburn. But in doing so, these potent and often overused PPI drugs can cause great harm.

New Study Shows More PPI Risks

The new study, published in the August of 2016 issue of Hepatology, was conducted in July of 2016 by Dr. Gitte Dam and associates at the Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology of Denmark’s Aarhus University Hospital.

Their study assessed the health of 895 patients suffering from cirrhosis and ascites, or fluid buildup in the abdomen. But though designed to test the effectiveness of ascites treatments, the study revealed that PPI drugs can contribute to newly found side effects.

These include fluid buildup in the abdomen as well as hepatic encephalopathy (HE). HE is a loss of brain function arising when the liver cannot remove toxins from the blood.

The Danish research showed that 52 percent of patients taking PPI drugs at some time during the clinical trials had a 31 percent cumulative one-year risk for HE. By contrast, persons who didn’t take PPI drugs had a 25 percent risk.

The Danish researchers said such PPI-induced overgrowth of bacteria can lead to HE and to spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). They said their data suggests that physicians should exercise more caution when writing prescriptions for PPI drugs to persons who may have cirrhosis.

PPI drugs are intended to lower the body’s production of gastric acid and to raise the stomach’s pH (a measure of acidity known as “potential of hydrogen”). However, increasing the body’s pH can lead to overpopulation of gut bacteria, which then can move into the blood or lymph nodes.

Other PPI Injuries

Many other PPI injuries have been found to occur due to regular use of PPI drugs. Additional injuries and ailments from PPI drugs include:

  • Kidney failure, which may necessitate dialysis or kidney transplants and can lead to death
  • Acute inflammation of the kidneys
  • Acute interstitial nephritis, which is an inflammatory kidney disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Infections
  • Fractured bones
  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart problems, including arrhythmia
  • Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures

PPI Drugs Are Widely Used

PPI drugs which can cause such injuries are widely used. Indeed, they are among the most-prescribed pharmaceutical drugs in America.

In fact, they are over-prescribed.

Up to 75 per cent of persons taking potent PPI drugs sold by prescription rather than over-the counter have received their prescription inappropriately, one study showed. Too many persons are taking the too-strong drugs for too long, and this sustained use of PPI drugs increases their risks of dangerous side effects.

Yet there are alternatives. Besides making lifestyle changes to lower their heartburn, heartburn sufferers can take “H2 blockers” such as Pepcid, Tagamet or Zantac, whose link to chronic kidney disease is far less than that of PPI drugs.

Yet an estimated 15 million Americans take PPI drugs such as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid  to treat such ailments as heartburn or acid reflux. These Americans are being exposed to potentially deadly PPI drug side effects, from kidney failure to the recently uncovered abdominal fluid buildup and loss of brain function.

PPI Drug Lawsuits

Victims have a legal right to claim compensatory payments from negligent manufacturers by means of PPI defective drug lawsuit or injury lawsuit.

Notify Jim Adler & Associates if someone in your family suffered a PPI side effect after taking such drugs as Nexium (sold by New York-based Pfizer Inc.) or Prilosec (sold by Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble).

You should not have to pay for their negligence. A PPI lawsuit can protect your legal rights and gain payments for your losses, including hospital and medical bills.

Contact us today, and let us help.

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