Your doctor could prescribe pain-relieving and inflammation drugs like Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) after a diagnosis. For many years, doctors have prescribed Proton Pump Inhibitors to reduce stomach ulcer symptoms and help the stomach lining heal. However, several dangerous side effects have been linked to the long-term use of Proton Pump Inhibitors. If you or your loved one has experienced severe side-effects after taking PPIs, you want to join a mass tort lawsuit and fight for compensation.
At Consumer Alert Now, we dedicate ourselves to help aggrieved patients or their loved ones seek compensation after taking PPIs. We do this by guiding you through a mass tort lawsuit and presenting your grievances alongside other affected plaintiffs. With our help, you can receive rightful compensation for the harm PPIs cause you. Thanks to a mass tort lawsuit, the court could order that unregulated PPI manufacturers recall the dangerous drugs from the market.
Defining Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
A Proton Pump Inhibitor is a type of drug that regulates Hydrochloric acid production in your stomach. PPIs block a specific enzyme that triggers the Hydrochloric acid release, meaning that your stomach receives smaller amounts of the acid.
You may need a doctor’s prescription to buy PPIs because of their corrosive nature to your stomach walls. After exposing the stomach lining to high amounts of acid, the protective mucous layer is depleted, leading to the formation of ulcers. An ulcer is a small open wound that causes extreme pain from its exposure to fluids and acidic conditions in your stomach.
Therefore, PPIs should prevent additional damage to the stomach walls by reducing Hydrochloric acid production. This way, existing ulcers have enough time to heal, and new ones will not form.
Different brands of Proton Pump Inhibitors are available in the market with varied price ranges. Their popularity depends on the location of retail, advertising, and reviews. Some examples of PPIs are:
- Omeprazole (Yosprala)
- Esomeprazole (Nexium 24HR)
- Rabeprazole (Aciphex Sprinkle
Additional brands are available in different markets, meaning that the drugs are widely accessible. If you are keen on avoiding PPIs, we recommend checking the list of components used in formulating the medication. Alternatively, you may seek assistance from the pharmacist in the store where you intend to make a purchase.
The Role of Proton Pump Inhibitors in Various Conditions
As mentioned, PPIs are used to manage ulcers in patients by regulating the production of Hydrochloric acid. Despite this, ulcers may develop from different stomach conditions, apart from exposure to excess acid. Thus, PPIs are common prescriptions for the following medical conditions:
Infestation by Helicobacter Pylori Bacteria
The Helicobacter Pylori bacteria is a common cause of stomach ulcers, as it causes open wounds when in the stomach. This bacteria is introduced into the body through getting into contact with an infected person's saliva, as there may be traces of the bacteria.
Additionally, you may face exposure after touching a person's feces or vomit, as traces of the bacteria can also be found in alimentary canal waste.
When the bacteria grows and spreads in your stomach, you will begin to experience different symptoms of ulcers from the destruction of the stomach walls. For example, most patients experience excruciating pain in the stomach and small intestines if the bacteria had begun to spread.
Moreover, medical endoscopies may reveal inflammation in the stomach lining when ulcer wounds are in the healing process. Normally, inflammation occurs when the body produces excessive antibacterial chemicals stored as fluid. Thus, the inflamed area stores the excess antibacterial fluids that later become pus.
In extreme cases, Helicobacter Pylori may cause stomach cancer. The condition arises when initial ulcers are not treated, leading to the exposure of internal stomach cells to foreign conditions. Consequently, cells begin to grow abnormally, creating malignant tissues that cause cancer.
PPIs have been used to rid Helicobacter Pylori bacteria from the stomach while also managing existing ulcer wounds by reducing acid production.
Zollinger Ellison Syndrome
Additionally, you may suffer from the Zollinger Ellison Syndrome, which affects your pancreas. Usually, the condition occurs after gastrinomas tumors form in the upper section of the pancreas known as the duodenum. These tumors are responsible for producing the gastric hormone, which stimulates the production of Hydrochloric Acid.
If the tumors trigger the production of too much Hydrochloric acid, your stomach is exposed to risks of ulcers from the corrosion of the mucous lining. As a result, you may begin to experience acid reflux and abdominal pains as symptoms of developing ulcers.
Other patients also report feeling a significant decrease in appetite and losing weight without intending to. All these problems are commonly remedied through a PPI prescription.
Ulcers caused by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs(NSAIDs )
Your doctor or pharmacist might have prescribed NSAIDS if he/she detected excess prostaglandin chemicals in your stomach. A healthy patient has these chemicals which operate to heal possible wounds in the stomach.
However, excess production of the chemicals will result in extreme pain to the patient, often coupled with a fever. Subsequently, the prescribed NSAIDS help to alleviate the fever and pain by controlling the amount of chemicals in your body.
Nevertheless, NSAIDs are associated with causing stomach ulcers after prolonged use, prompting the need for a PPI prescription to counter the ulcers.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Moreover, PPIs have been used to treat GERD, a condition caused by excess Hydrochloric acid flowing from the stomach to the esophagus. Therefore, you could become prone to recurrent chest pain as the acid erodes the esophagus. Further, some patients experience heartburns after eating that make it difficult to retain a healthy sleeping pattern.
Severe GERD cases may also increase the chances of asthma attacks, as you will often experience discomfort in your chest. Subsequently, doctors are prone to prescribing Proton Pump Inhibitors to reduce the symptoms of GERD and help in managing acid reflux.
Dangers of Using Proton Pump Inhibitors
While PPIs have been a go-to prescription for ulcer patients, studies have revealed that patients risk suffering severe side effects, especially after prolonged use. Therefore, there have been different efforts to deter patients from relying on the PPIs as long-term doses to treat ulcers.
In some cases, you may experience mild to moderate side effects. On the other hand, you or a loved one may face extreme side effects that endanger your life. Learning of the different effects is therefore helpful to you, as you will make an informed decision before choosing to consume PPIs.
Side Effects of Using Medication with Proton Pump Inhibitors
Like most medical drugs, PPIs are known to cause different side effects for various patients, depending on your body's reaction. Doubtless, each person exhibits different side effects, meaning you are not likely to face every effect discussed below. Nevertheless, learning of the possible outcomes of using PPIs is essential to help you avoid medical conditions in the future. Discovered side effects include:
Flatulence/ Intestinal Gas
Upon beginning a PPI dose, your regular gastrointestinal conditions may shift because of the suppressed release of Hydrochloric acid. Subsequently, digestion is likely to be slower, leading to excess gas production in your bowels.
Most patients may, therefore, experience expensive flatulence as a side effect. It is characterized by excessive bloating and release of the gases by belching them out. Sometimes, the gases may also have a foul smell, prompting professional medical checkups that will help manage the condition.
With proper anti-bloating medication, the excess production of gases should decrease in a few days. However, we recommend going in for a subsequent check-up if you continue experiencing recurrent belching and bloating.
Moreover, taking Proton Pump Inhibitors for a long time decreases the level of magnesium in your body. Subsequently, your bone density will also decrease, leading to susceptibility to Osteoporosis.
This condition often manifests itself through fragile bones that cause bone fractures to affected patients. Additionally, X-ray scans will reveal weakened bone density that may worsen if gone untreated. As a result, getting on prescriptions to help rebuild bone density is necessary because non-treatment could lead to severe complications.
You should note that Osteoporosis affects different bones, including the femur close to the hip joint. If this supports bone fractures, your mobility will be compromised significantly, causing more difficulty in resuming your daily routines.
You could also face a serious side effect where your pancreas is severely inflamed, making it difficult to produce bile juice for digestion. The condition is also known as Pancreatitis and is accompanied by several other symptoms.
Typically, you may begin by experiencing sharp pains in your abdomen after eating. Some patients experience a gradual increase in pain intensity over a few days, while for others, the pain begins suddenly. Regardless of your pain build-up, it is always advisable to contact a medical professional who will examine you and make a diagnosis.
Another common symptom of Pancreatitis is nausea accompanied by vomiting. Most people may assume that the nausea is from a different condition, as they could be unaware of the PPI side effects. Subsequently, checking for the cause of vomiting and nausea is recommended for a reliable conclusion on your health.
For some, chills and fevers are common symptoms that result from the inflamed pancreas. A fever generally arises as an immune response to bacteria. By increasing body temperature, the bacteria face harsh conditions for survival, increasing the chance of eradicating all disease-causing microbes.
However, extremely high body temperature can also be dangerous for you, affecting normal cell functions. Thus, we advise you to schedule a medical check-up upon experiencing fevers and chills after consuming PPIs.
Slowed Kidney Functions
Your kidneys play an important role in the body by filtering waste and channeling it out for excretion through various outlets. The two main excretory systems are the skin and the alimentary canal which dispose of harmful substances like urea, drug toxins, and excess salts.
After starting a PPI drug prescription, your kidneys take on new functions to filter out the chemical toxins in the blood. While your kidneys may continue to function, the processes become slower based on the high toxin levels to be excreted.
Subsequently, you may suffer symptoms that arise from abnormal kidney function. For example, you may experience extreme fatigue even when you have not performed any activities.
Additionally, you may become more prone to high blood pressure because the excess salts in your bloodstream may constrict your arteries and veins. Also, you will notice that your body takes longer than usual to accumulate urine, meaning that you use the restroom fewer times than a healthy person.
When you notice any of the discussed symptoms, you should inform your doctor of your prescription history with PPIs. This way, he/she can carry out tests to check whether the current kidney problems arise from long term use of the PPIs.
Increased Risk of Heart Attacks
On top of this, prolonged use of PPIs has been linked to exposing consumers to higher risks of heart attacks. However, finding a direct cause for the increased risk factor is not straightforward. This is because different patients face varying complications after using PPIs.
Nevertheless, patients who have never reported previous incidents of hypertension or heart disease may seek legal redress if PPIs triggered these symptoms. Their claims will be valid if they prove that consuming the drugs was the direct link that made them more likely to suffer a heart attack.
Compromised Liver Functions
Like the kidney, the liver also plays a crucial role in removing toxins from your body by breaking them down into expellable substances. Thus, when you introduce your body to prolonged use of PPIs, liver functions may slow down and cause complications.
Commonly, liver failure may arise when the organ is overwhelmed by the amount of toxins in the bloodstream. For example, if you increase your PPI dose to combat severe ulcers, the efforts may be counterproductive to your health. This is because the liver will have to break down more toxins than usual, making it overwhelmed. Eventually, overworking the liver constantly leads to liver disease or other irreversible complications.
Some common indicators of liver disease include severe abdominal pain that may also cause inflammation. Moreover, your legs may swell down to your ankles, making it hard to walk. The color of your urine may also change to a darker shade, indicating a high level of toxins to be excreted.
Suffering from headaches after consuming PPIs is a common side effect, especially if they are recurrent. Sometimes, the composition of drug chemicals in the bloodstream may cause hormonal imbalances, causing headaches. Taking some pain relievers should remedy the condition, provided you feel better within a reasonable period. Despite this, you may want to report the symptoms to your doctor because the PPI doses trigger these headaches.
However, the type of headache experienced as a PPI side effect is not too severe to cause dizziness or impaired vision. Hence, if you experience these additional symptoms, you want to contact a medical doctor as soon as possible for a medical examination.
Joining a Mass Tort Lawsuit Against Manufacturers of PPIs
The side effects of using PPIs for a long time are serious and require medical attention to mitigate the risks posed to your health. Often, seeking medical attention will involve spending a lot of money on consultation and prescribed medicine, leading to incurred losses.
On top of this, the harm caused by the side effects could be fatal or leave you dependent on medical assistance and prescriptions that you did not need before. Since facing these effects is not your fault as a consumer, filing for compensation is suitable to help you get back to your regular life. We recommend joining a mass tort lawsuit for dangerous drugs, as you will have increased chances of success in court.
The structure of a mass tort lawsuit includes multiple plaintiffs who all present the same grievances against one product. Therefore, your lawyers will work closely to gather evidence and helpful information before the matter proceeds to court. While mass tort lawsuits are suitable, you need to learn of the various requirements that you should meet for high chances of a favorable outcome.
Firstly, your claims should have similar facts and effects as other plaintiffs in the suit. This ensures that you are all seeking redress for the same matter and that your evidence will be consolidated. Presenting a united front in a mass tort lawsuit is ideal, as it also saves the court’s time before delivering a judgment.
Finding relevant and admissible evidence to present is also important, as you want to provide the most credible proof of your afflictions. Typically, plaintiffs should be persons directly affected by using PPIs, so that they can give clear testimonies on the effects of the drug. Despite this, survivors of a deceased person may also appear as the plaintiffs to provide testimonies on the effects of PPIs that caused the fatality.
Based on the high expectations to present high-quality evidence, you should work with an experienced product liability lawyer. He/she is likely to have handled multiple mass tort cases before, so he/she will know what to expect when the proceedings begin.
Some good sources of evidence include signed medical notes and reports that indicate the cause of your severe side effects. Consequently, you will have to prove that you consulted a certified medical doctor capable of linking your symptoms to the consumption of PPIs.
Prescription notes are also important documentary evidence to consider adding to your list. The notes will prove that you required additional medical attention to remedy the PPI side effects. We recommend safely keeping original prescription notes and receipts from purchasing medicine, as these originals are considered the best evidential source.
Moreover, attorneys in the mass tort lawsuit may call on different expert witnesses to give opinion evidence about the dangers of using PPIs. The best types of experts to call upon are those with first-hand experience in manufacturing the drugs and are aware of their dangers.
These include ex-employees in production companies or certified scientists in the field of Pharmacy or related fields. The evidence they provide in court will be persuasive to show that the dangers of PPIs are known. As a result, the opinion evidence will justify the grounds for the mass tort lawsuit and may increase the chances of success.
When the judge decides to award the compensation to the plaintiffs, the manufacturing company responsible for producing PPIs must make repayments to you. It is important to note that different brands of PPIs are available. Thus, you should identify the manufacturer of the specific brand you consumed before joining a mass tort suit. After a successful award of compensation, you can use the obtained monetary payments to:
- Cover debts arising from medical expenses
- Recover from funeral expenses if a loved one succumbed to the side effects
- Recover for loss of wages and earning capacity
Contact a Product Liability Expert Near Me
Taking dangerous drugs that you genuinely believed were helpful to you can be devastating. The case is more severe when these drugs’ effects cause irreversible health problems to you or a loved one. While PPIs are used in treating stomach ulcers, the severity of side effects after use cannot be overlooked. Some patients have died, and others have lost their loved ones from undetected dangerous side effects. Also, other patients have had their body organs suffer significant damage.
Working with our product liability lawyers from Consumer Alert Now is, therefore, a great step towards obtaining rightful compensation. Our nationwide legal services are reliable, thanks to our knowledgeable attorneys ready to support your mass tort lawsuit for a successful outcome. If you or a loved one wishes to join a mass tort suit against the PPIs manufacturers, give us a call at 800-511-0747.