Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) Causing Widespread Kidney Damage

Defective Drugs

By David Carnes, Staff Writer

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of drugs that reduce the body’s production of gastric acid in order to treat a number of different conditions. PPIs are among the most widely used drugs in the world – over 100 million prescriptions per year are written in the United States alone, and that figure doesn’t even include over-the-counter sales. Unfortunately, evidence is mounting that these drugs are responsible for several numerous types of serious kidney damage.

Types of PPIs

PPIs have spawned a number of popular name brand pharmaceuticals, including:

  • Nexium
  • Prilosec
  • Prevacid
  • Aciphex
  • Dexilant
  • Protonix
  • Zegarid

Remember that in some cases it is difficult to win a product liability lawsuit over the use of generic pharmaceuticals.


PPIs are used to treat the following conditions, among others:

  • Dyspepsia
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Stress gastritis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis

Many of the foregoing conditions can be treated with alternative medications.

Kidney Damage

The use of PPIs has been associated with an increased the risk of developing the following conditions:

  • Acute interstitial nephritis
  • Acute kidney disease
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Kidney transplants
  • Death

A recent study, based on a review of hundreds of thousands of case histories, indicates that PPI users face a 96 percent increase in the risk of end stage renal failure, and a 28 percent increased risk of developing chronic renal failure. Numerous other studies generally back up the results of this study. This represents a highly significant public health risk given the astronomical number of PPI prescriptions written every year.

Product Warnings

Reports of kidney damage associated with the use of PPIs have been surfacing for at least 20 years. Nevertheless, FDA warnings on possible kidney damage were not included until 2014. Even current warnings mention only the risk of acute interstitial nephritis, not any of the other kidney conditions that have been associated with the use of PPIs.

Legal Action

If you suspect that you or your loved one has been harmed by the use of PPIs, the legal system provides a means by which you can obtain compensation for your losses (indeed, a wrongful death lawsuit is designed in part to compensate close family members for the emotional consequences of the unnecessary death of their loved one). A lawsuit over PPI-related kidney damage will involve several factors that work in favor of the plaintiff (the party who files the lawsuit):

  • It is relatively easy to trace a causal link between the use of PPIs and later kidney problems
  • Kidney damage is often catastrophic, resulting in high damages awards
  • Product warnings are inadequate, especially if the harm involves a kidney condition other than acute interstitial nephritis (or if acute interstitial nephritis resulted from PPI use before the FDA warning was issued in 2014).

You might be eligible to participate in a class action lawsuit with other victims, or you might be better off litigating as a single plaintiff. In either case, pharmaceutical lawsuits are typically complex affairs that require the guidance of skilled and experienced legal counsel.

Add new comment