FDA to Add Warnings on Heartburn Drugs Like NexiumJuly 7, 2016 — A lawsuit has been filed by a man from Tennessee who developed severe kidney problems after taking the anti-heartburn drug Nexium.

The lawsuit was filed by Charles Bowers, a man who started using Nexium in July 2003 for heartburn. He used Nexium regularly until May 2008, when he was diagnosed with drug-induced interstitial nephritis, a condition involving sudden kidney inflammation

In May 2009, he was diagnosed with chronic interstitial nephritis. As a result, he must undergo dialysis three times a week and needs a kidney transplant.

The lawsuit (PDF) was filed against AstraZeneca in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on July 5, 2016 — Case No. 2:16-cv-02549.

AstraZeneca is accused of failing to adequately warn about the risk of kidney problems from Nexium. The first cases of kidney injuries in patients on Nexium were reported in 2004, but warnings were not updated until 2014.

Earlier this year, a study published in CMAJ Open found a tripled increased risk of nephritis among patients on anti-heartburn drugs in the Proton-Pump Inhibitor (PPI) class, such as Nexium.

In 2015, a study showed that acute kidney injuries increased 250% in elderly patients who started PPIs. Recent studies have shown that long-term use of PPIs are associated with a 20-50% increased risk of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) — progressive loss of kidney function that can lead to kidney failure.

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