Anti-heartburn drugs like Aciphex have been linked to a number of renal diseases that can cause kidney failure, including nephritis and chronic renal disease.
Need a Texas Aciphex 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 kidney failure, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Aciphex contains rabeprazole, an antacid medication that decreases the amount of acid made by glands lining the stomach. It is a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) that was approved as a generic in November 2013.
Aciphex and Kidney Failure
Aciphex and other PPIs are associated with a number of renal diseases that can cause kidney failure, such as:
- Acute interstitial nephritis: Hypersensitivity reaction that causes inflammation and swelling in the spaces between kidney tubules.
- Acute kidney injury: Damage to the kidneys that rapidly decreases their ability to remove toxins and balance fluids and electrolytes in the blood.
- Chronic kidney disease: Progressive kidney damage that can cause complications like high blood pressure, anemia, seizures, coma, kidney failure, and death.
What is the problem?
Researchers are still trying to understand why PPIs are associated with kidney problems. The FDA has issued warnings about low magnesium levels, which could cause kidney damage. Aciphex is also associated with nephritis, and experts warn that repeated bouts of low-level inflammation could cause progressive kidney damage.
A number of studies have found evidence linking PPIs and kidney problems. These studies include one published in April 2015 linking PPIs with a 3-fold increased risk of nephritis and a 2.5-fold increased risk of acute kidney injury. Another study found a 20-50% increased risk of chronic kidney disease associated with once-daily and twice-daily use of PPIs.
Study Links Aciphex and 96% Increased Risk of Kidney Failure
In April 2016, a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology concluded that the use of PPIs could increased the risk of kidney failure by 96% and the risk of chronic kidney disease by 26%. Conclusions were based on data from 173,321 people who used PPIs and 20,270 people who used a non-PPI heartburn drug. After 5 years, 15% of patients on PPIs had been diagnosed with kidney disease.
While only 0.2% of study participants developed end-stage kidney failure, the risk was nearly doubled in PPI users. Furthermore, using PPIs for 1-2 years tripled the risk of kidney failure compared to patients who only used PPIs for a month. According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly:
“I think people see these medications at the drug store and assume they’re completely safe. But there’s growing evidence they’re not as safe as we’ve thought. [Patients should] use PPIs only when it is medically necessary, and should limit duration of exposure to the minimum necessary to treat the underlying medical condition.”
What is Kidney Failure?
Kidney failure (also known as end-stage renal disease) occurs when the kidneys have less than 15% of their normal function. This causes toxins and excess fluids to build up. A person with kidney failure needs dialysis or an organ transplant to replace the work of failed kidneys.
Complications of Kidney Failure
Kidney failure can cause complications in nearly every part of the body. Some of these serious problems include:
- Uremia: Waste products in the blood cause symptoms like fatigue, loss of appetite, leg cramps, itching, sleep problems, weak bones, and electrolyte imbalances.
- Anemia: Red blood cell counts are too low, which means less oxygen is carried to cells. It causes extreme fatigue and heart problems.
- Heart problems: People with kidney failure have higher rates of heart attacks and blood vessel problems.
- Weight loss: Loss of appetite, nausea, and abnormal sense of taste can make it hard to eat.
- Itching skin: Low calcium levels cause the release of parathyroid hormones, which cause itching. Damaged kidneys can also cause phosphorous to build up in the blood, which can cause itching.
- Weak bones: Mineral imbalances and high parathyroid hormone levels draw calcium from the bones and cause them to weaken or become thin and malformed. Patients may also experience joint pain and stiffness.
- And more
Need an Aciphex Lawyer in Texas?
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