An increasing number of studies have found higher rates of kidney disease and nephritis (kidney inflammation) associated with heartburn drugs like Protonix. Without treatment, these side effects can cause kidney failure.
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 kidney failure, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Protonix (pantoprazole) is a delayed-release antacid medication that is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Protonix and Kidney Failure
Protonix is an anti-heartburn drug in the proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) class. All drugs in this class have been associated with serious kidney problems in recent studies, such as:
- JAMA Internal Medicine (February 2016): 20-50% increased risk of chronic kidney disease associated with daily use of PPIs.
- CMAJ Open (April 2015): Researchers in Canada found a tripled increased risk of nephritis and a 2.5-fold increased risk of acute kidney injury associated with PPIs.
Study Links Protonix and 96% Increased Risk of Kidney Failure
Protonix and other PPIs were linked to a 96% increased risk of kidney failure and a 26% increased risk of chronic kidney disease in a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology in April 2016.
The researchers analyzed 5 years of data on 170,000 veterans who used PPIs, compared to 20,000 who used anti-heartburn drugs in the H2-blocker class. After 5 years, 15% of PPI users had been diagnosed with kidney disease. Although only 0.2% developed end-stage kidney failure, the rate was twice as high for PPI users. The rate of kidney failure was three times higher in people who used PPIs for 1-2 years compared to a month or less.
Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, lead author of the study, warned:
“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.”
Do PPIs Cause Kidney Failure?
It is not clear how PPIs could harm the kidneys, but there are a few theories. One theory is that patients develop repeated bouts of low-level inflammation (nephritis) that causes kidney damage. The FDA has also issued warnings about low magnesium levels from long-term use of PPIs, which is a risk-factor for kidney failure.
FDA Updates Warnings
In December 2014, the FDA updated the label on Protonix to include acute interstitial nephritis. This side effect occurs as a result of a hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction to Protonix in the bloodstream.
Acute interstitial nephritis causes sudden inflammation and swelling in the spaces between tubules in the kidneys. About 50% of people with nephritis develop symptoms kidney failure. Left untreated, nephritis can permanently impair kidney function or cause kidney failure.
Warning Signs & Symptoms
People with nephritis (also known as glomerulonephritis) may have blood in their urine (or brown urine), puffy face in the morning, and less urination than usual. They may also have high blood pressure or shortness of breath due to extra fluid in the lungs.
Over time, kidney failure causes complications in many parts of the body. Chronic kidney disease can develop without causing symptoms for many years, but it often leads to kidney failure. When the kidneys stop removing toxins and excess fluids from the body, the following symptoms may appear:
- High blood pressure
- Swelling of the ankles, feet, or other parts of the body (edema)
- Fluid retention
- Changes in urination
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Trouble sleeping at night (insomnia)
- Persistent itching and dry skin
- Muscle cramps
Need a Protonix Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas Protonix lawyers for a free lawsuit review.