PPIs for Acid Reflux May Be Associated with Life-Threatening Complications

When you take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) to alleviate symptoms of acid reflux, or to treat a stomach ulcer or injury to your digestive tract caused by acid reflux, you may experience severe side effects you never thought possible.

Studies recently published have raised concerns that taking a PPI — such as Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid — may be associated with an increased risk for serious, chronic, even life-threatening side effects.

If you have taken a PPI and had serious injury to or problems with your kidneys, we believe you may have a right to seek possible compensation. We are accepting clients who, after taking a PPI, suffered problems with their kidneys.

Contact us if you were diagnosed with one of the following severe conditions after taking a PPI:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Acute kidney injury, also called “acute renal failure”
  • Interstitial nephritis (a type of inflammation in the kidneys) prior to December 19, 2014
  • End-stage renal failure, also called “end-stage renal disease”

In some instances, you may have lost a loved one due to these severe side effects. You may be entitled to compensation for the loss your family members suffered.

What Are Proton Pump Inhibitors?

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a type of medication that decrease the amount of stomach acid produced by glands in your stomach’s lining.

These prescription and over-the-counter PPI medications may be associated with an increased risk of developing serious, life-threatening kidney problems:

  • Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Nexium 24 HR (esomeprazole)
  • Prevacid (lansoprazole)
  • Prevacid 24 HR (lansoprazole)
  • Prilosec (omeprazole)
  • Prilosec OTC (omeprazole)
  • Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)
  • Dexilant SoluTab (dexlansoprazole)
  • Protonix (pantoprazole)


Individuals may take a PPI in an attempt to alleviate symptoms of acid reflux, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition occurs when food or liquid travels up from the stomach and enters the esophagus, which is the tube leading from the mouth to the stomach.

PPIs are also intended to ease symptoms of a stomach (peptic) ulcer. Sometimes these medications are taken to reduce uncomfortable symptoms associated with damage to the lower esophagus caused by acid reflux.

Serious Complications of PPIs Include Irreparable Kidney Damage

According to several recent studies, taking a proton pump inhibitor may increase an individual’s risk of developing chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury or interstitial nephritis.

Chronic kidney disease, also called CKD or chronic kidney failure, occurs gradually as the kidneys begin to lose their ability to function. The kidneys filter waste products and extra fluid from the blood. These waste products leave the body through urine.

When the kidneys lose their ability to function, waste products and excessive fluid can accumulate in the body. If the condition progresses, kidney dialysis or a kidney transplant may be required. Left untreated, or if treatment is unsuccessful, the condition can be fatal.

Acute kidney injury (AKI), or acute renal failure, occurs suddenly over several hours or days. The kidneys rapidly lose their ability to filter waste products, which may lead to excessively high levels of waste products and fluid imbalances in the body.

Roughly one-third of patients diagnosed with acute kidney injury will also suffer related cardiovascular complications, such as heart failure, heart attack, arrhythmias or cardiac arrest. In addition, more than half of patients diagnosed with acute kidney injury will experience lung-related complications, which are the most common cause of death in AKI patients.

AKI can lead to chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. Immediate treatment is necessary or the condition can be fatal.

Interstitial nephritis is another type of kidney disorder. This condition is characterized by inflammation in specific tissue in the kidneys, which interferes with how the kidneys function. In severe cases, the inflammation can lead to chronic kidney failure and cause permanent damage to the kidneys.

PPI Manufacturers Do Not Call Attention to All Dangerous Side Effects

Although manufacturers of proton pump inhibitors provide information about potential side effects and contraindications, they do not call attention to the severe, sometimes life-threatening of AKI or CKD, risks that are associated with these medications.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a number of safety warnings regarding proton pump inhibitors, such as their potential to cause increased risk of bone fractures, association with low magnesium levels, and association with a specific type of gastrointestinal inflammation caused by a bacteria known as C. diff, it has not specifically addressed the very real and dangerous possibility of irreparable kidney damage.

Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. — Committed, Caring and Experienced

At Weitz & Luxenberg, we have dedicated ourselves to helping people who have sustained significant loss and injury through no fault of their own. We know what suffering and adversity feel like, and no one should have to confront this hardship alone.

We want to help, and we have the expertise to guide you through the challenges you are facing when a large corporation harms you.

For some people, proton pump inhibitors prove far worse than the uncomfortable conditions they were intended to alleviate, and the effects can be tragic. Were you or a loved one hospitalized with severe kidney damage after taking a proton pump inhibitor? Did a loved one die because of complications associated with kidney failure? If so, please call us.

Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. is currently accepting clients who have experienced significant kidney malfunction after taking Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec or another proton pump inhibitor. We invite you to contact us today so that we can provide you with the support and guidance you deserve.

"Proton pump inhibitors, as recent studies suggest, can be far more dangerous than manufacturers let on. People need to know these medications can lead to kidney failure. And the families who have been hurt already should receive all of the compensation possible for the pain and suffering they've experienced."

—Paul Pennock, Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C.

Weitz & Luxenberg