You are probably already aware that Nexium and Prilosec are prescribed to treat patients who experience recurring acid reflux and heartburn. They are a type of medication known as “proton pump inhibitors” (PPIs) that reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. They do this by blocking the body’s proton pumps – elements of your cells that release hydrogen that is needed to create the acid in your stomach to aid in digestion. Once taken, these drugs can bring relief to patients in the following ways:
- By stopping an occurrence of heartburn or acid reflux (sometimes referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD)
- By soothing ulcers and inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis)
- By reducing the recurrence of esophagitis or other long-term effects of acid reflux
Prilosec and Nexium can reduce your stomach acid from a pH of 1 (highly acidic) to a pH of 5 (barely acidic). As a result, these drugs have become tremendously popular, but they do carry certain risks to your health.
What is the Difference Between Prilosec and Nexium?
Nexium and Prilosec are essentially the same drugs and equally effective with the same active ingredient. In fact, both drugs are manufactured by the same pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca.
Nexium is the newer drug, developed by AstraZeneca to capture profits that would be lost when their patent on Prilosec expired. Only slightly different from Prilosec, Nexium can cost up to four times more than Prilosec. Some studies suggest Nexium is better at treating esophagitis, but the medical community has not reached a definitive conclusion.
The generic PPI omeprazole is identical to Prilosec. Regardless of which medication you take, the health risks associated with these drugs are the same. Thus, a Georgia nexium attorney would be able to handle your claim if you were took either medication.
Why are Prilosec and Nexium Considered Dangerous Drugs?
While Nexium and Prilosec have been marketed as safe for consumers, the reality is they do carry many potential side effects. If you have suffered health problems as a result of these drugs, you should speak to a Georgia Prilosec lawyer as soon as possible.
Potential Kidney Damage
One of the most serious potential side effects of Prilosec and Nexium is the risk of severe kidney damage. PPIs can cause inflammation of the kidneys and other acute kidney injuries. Your kidneys are responsible for cleansing waste products from your bloodstream. When they fail to work properly, it can be extremely hazardous to your health, eventually leading to renal failure and death.
Acute Interstitial Nephritis
One of the potential risks of Nexium and Prilosec is that patients could develop acute interstitial nephritis (AIN). AIN is a condition that causes inflammation and death of the tissues surrounding the kidneys. If left untreated, it can result in permanent damage to the kidneys. Symptoms of AIN are as follows:
- Sudden weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in your urine
If you are taking these medications and are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical treatment.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Long-term use of PPIs may result in chronic kidney disease (CKD), a permanent and life-threatening condition. Unfortunately, the onset of symptoms of chronic kidney disease often does not occur until you are facing complete kidney failure. The only treatment options for people suffering from CKD are dialysis or a kidney transplant, both of which are incredibly invasive and life-changing medical procedures. Studies have shown the use of PPIs increases your risk of chronic kidney disease anywhere from 20 to 50 percent.
Other Health Risks Associated with Nexium and Prilosec
In addition to kidney disease, Nexium and Prilosec carry four other significant risks:
- The risk of premature death is nearly twice as high for people who take these drugs; and
- Prilosec and Nexium have been shown to affect bone health, leading to an increased risk of bone fractures.
- A 38% higher risk of dementia and a 44% higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Nutritional deficiencies such as hypomagnesemia and vitamin B12 deficiency
If you have experienced any of these health issues as a result of taking these drugs, you may have a claim against the manufacturers. An experienced Georgia Nexium lawyer has helped people across the state get the compensation they need to move on with their lives.