AstraZeneca is facing another lawsuit over its prescription heartburn medication Nexium. The lawsuit, filed by 35 Houston, Texas women, claims Nexium caused them to suffer bone loss and fractures.
The lawsuit comes a little over a month after an Ohio woman filed the first Nexium lawsuit, claiming the drug caused her to break her leg on two occasions – once in 2005 and again in 2007. That lawsuit was also filed in Texas.
Like the previous lawsuit, this latest complaint alleges that as early as 2006, studies had indicated that by reducing stomach acid, Nexium and similar drugs known as proton pump inhibitors interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Over time, this causes bone loss and makes users more vulnerable to fractures.
Among the plaintiffs in the Houston Nexium fracture lawsuit is a 62-year-woman who suffered six different fractures while she took Nexium. She and her fellow plaintiffs are seeking a number of damages for their Nexium injuries, including physical pain, mental anguish and lost earnings.
Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors are approved to treat conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach ulcers and other disorders. In addition to Nexium, other drugs in this class include Prilosec, Zegerid, Prevacid, Protonix, Aciphex, and Vimivo.
The safety labeling for prescription proton pump inhibitors includes a warning – added in May 2010 – that they might be associated with a higher risk of hip, wrist and spine factures. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has advised that healthcare professionals and users of proton pump inhibitors be aware of the possible increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine and weigh the known benefits against the potential risks when deciding to use them. Studies indicate that women over 50 who have used proton pump inhibitors for extended periods of time face the highest risk of sustaining such fractures.