Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are potent drugs used to stop heartburn and reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. It’s important to note that these drugs can also be dangerous. Using proton pump inhibitors may cause you to suffer from kidney damage, kidney disease, and kidney failure.
The Georgia attorneys at the Bader Scott Injury Lawyers have experience in various types of medical injuries and have been following the PPI health issues with great interest. Their legal team may be able to help you recover monetary compensation for your medical expenses, ongoing medical care, and pain and suffering.
What Do Proton Pump Inhibitors Do?
Unlike other heartburn medications on the market, proton pump inhibitors work differently in that they don’t try to neutralize the acid in your stomach. They are not antacids. Instead, proton pump inhibitors are meant to prevent your stomach from producing the acids that cause heartburn.
This is a delicate operation for any medication to perform because the lining of your stomach has cells that produce acid, which is called proton pumps. These proton pumps generate charged hydrogen ions. These ions form the acid in your stomach that allows your body to breakdown food. Too much will cause heartburn or will irritate your stomach.
Proton pump inhibitors shut down the acid production at the source to resolve this problem. They work by blocking the proton pumps and prevents them from releasing the hydrogen ions that create the acid. If used over a long period, too frequently, they can affect your body’s ability to absorb any of the nutrients from the food you eat.
How Should Proton Pump Inhibitors Be Used?
Proton pump inhibitors are usually recommended by your medical professional in three different types of situations. They include:
- GERD/Recurring Heartburn: Everyone will occasionally get heartburn, but if you get it on a pretty regular basis, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, commonly called acid reflux.
When you have acid reflux the bottom of your esophagus isn’t sealing fully, and the contents of your stomach, including the acid, come back up through your throat, causing it to burn. Through the use of proton pump inhibitors, you may be able to effectively relieve GERD, because of the stoppage in the production of acid.
- Stomach Damage from NSAID Drugs: NSAID’s are a form of pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen. They are considered to be generally safe if you use them in small doses. Too many NSAID’s could cause your stomach lining to get damaged.
Some of the symptoms of NSAID induced gastropathy include vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
- Ulcers: Your stomach lining and small intestines are designed to protect your organs from the acid they contain. Sometimes the lining can become damaged, which is called a peptic ulcer. The ulcers may cause burning pain and can be caused by an imbalance in your digestive juices. In some cases, proton pump inhibitors are used to reduce the amount of acid and help relieve your pain, and in long term use may help your ulcer to heal.
Are Proton Pump Inhibitors Sometimes Inappropriately Prescribed?
Proton pump inhibitors tend to be overused because they act so fast.
The most inappropriate uses include, but aren’t limited to:
- Heartburn: Heartburn and acid reflux sufferers may think proton pump inhibitors are a miracle drug. However, the best way to manage your heartburn over the long term is to make changes to your lifestyle and diet. However, proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec are almost recommended continuously by health care professionals. If you use these drugs long term, you may end up with life-threatening side effects and severe damage.
- Prescribed with Steroids: Sometimes, your medical professional may prescribe steroids for specific clinical reasons. Your medical professional may also recommend that you take a proton pump inhibitor along with the steroids so that your stomach will not be damaged.
However, the result of proton pump inhibitors being overused or misused could cause kidney disease, broken bones, and other unwanted side effects.
What Medicines Are Considered Proton Pump Inhibitors?
There are many drugs on the market that are proton pump inhibitors. They include:
- Omeprazole– these are drugs with brand names like Prilosec, Gasec, Omepral, UlcerGard, GastroGard, and others.
- Lansoprazole– these include Prevacid, Inhibitol and others
- Dexlansoprazole– Kapidex, Dexilant
- Esomeprazole– Nexium, Esotrax, Esso
How Do I Know if I Have A Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuit?
If you’ve taken any brand name or generic proton pump inhibitor either by prescription or over the counter, and you have kidney problems or broken bones, you may have a case.
The manufacturer of the proton pump inhibitor drug that you took may have acted with negligence, and they can be held responsible for your injuries.
The attorneys at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers may be able to assist you in recovering monetary compensation. While there may be no way to reverse your severe medical condition as a result of taking a proton pump inhibitor, you won’t have to bear the high costs of your care alone.