Drugs used to fight heartburn are proton pump inhibitors. Proton pump inhibitors stop or reduce the production of stomach acid that creeps back up the esophagus and causes heartburn and other gastroesophageal problems such as acid reflux disease, heartburn, GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), Dyspepsia, Garrett’s disease which is a precursor to cancer, gastritis, erosive esophagitis, among other problems. The so-called proton pump in a person’s stomach produces this acid to digest food. Thus, taking the proton pump inhibitor will shut down acid production or reduce stomach acid production significantly.
The medical industry produced numerous medications designed to help people suffering from any of the digestive ailments relating to overproduction of stomach acid. Some of the most well-known proton pump inhibitors are Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid are just some of the names familiar to most of us thanks to repeated television and radio advertisements.
Doctors Warn Prolonged Use of Proton Pump Inhibitor Drugs Linked to Severe Health Problems
Severe health problems arise with these drugs with prolonged use. Proton pump inhibitor drugs should only be used temporarily and should not be used for any amount of time longer than one month. Serious health problems may arise with prolonged use of a proton pump inhibitor. According to GastroEndoNews.com, doctors have connected extended use of proton pump inhibitors with antibiotic exposure may lead to Clostridioides difficile infections in hospitalized children. Doctors have also connected PPIs to diseases like reduction of kidney function, and kidney disease, acute interstitial nephritis, which is a chronic kidney disease, kidney failure ranging from Stage 1 to Stage 5 wherein Stage 5 is complete renal failure forcing the patient to undergo dialysis treatment to survive. Cancer may appear as well. Pancreatic cancer has been identified as having a possible connection to the overuse of proton pump inhibitor medication.
Drug makers have a duty to inform doctors and potential consumers about the risks or side effects associated with taking proton pump inhibitors. Not doing so can lead to legal liability for damages. Proving the connection between the proton pump inhibitors and the subsequent adverse medical condition is only half the battle. Once that is shown, then the plaintiff has the chance to ask for monetary damages including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, along with pain and suffering, and other losses if they apply.
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