Protonix is associated with interstitial nephritis, a kidney condition characterized by swelling in between kidney tubules. Evidence linking Protonix and nephritis has been growing for decades, but warnings were only updated in 2014.
Need a Texas Protonix Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with acute interstitial nephritis, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Protonix is the brand-name of pantoprazole, an anti-heartburn drug made by Pfizer. In December 2014, the FDA ordered Pfizer to update the label on Protonix to include a section on acute interstitial nephritis.
What is the problem?
Protonix belongs to the Proton-Pump Inhibitor (PPI) class of antacids. In the last two decades, hundreds of people on PPIs have developed acute interstitial nephritis. This sudden and severe kidney inflammation can lead to kidney failure without treatment. According to a recent study in CMAJ Open, older adults on PPIs are three times more likely to develop nephritis than non-users.
Case Report Links Protonix and Acute Interstitial Nephritis
One of the first case reports linking Protonix and nephritis was published in 2003. The victim was a 77 year-old woman who was prescribed Protonix two months earlier.
After five weeks on Protonix (40-mg/day), she stopped taking it because she felt unwell. A few weeks later, she was hospitalized with symptoms like joint pain, fatigue, fever, and kidney pain. A biopsy confirmed a diagnosis of acute interstitial nephritis. She was given anti-inflammatory medications and hospitalized for two weeks.
Warning Signs of Nephritis
The symptoms of nephritis can occur at any time when a patient is taking Protonix. However, it usually takes a few weeks before a patient feels sick enough to go to the hospital. These symptoms may include:
- Kidney swelling
- Increased or decreased urination
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Elevated blood pressure
The kidney tubules reabsorb water and useful substances and get rid of wastes. When they are not working properly, patients can develop Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Unfortunately, nephritis often causes fibrosis (scarring) in the kidneys, which permanently decreases kidney function. In severe cases, this can lead to kidney failure.
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