Stomach Cancer Lawsuit Lawyer
Has someone in your family suffered stomach cancer after taking drugs for heartburn or acid reflux known as Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid? If so, you may be legally entitled to substantial financial compensation for your losses -- payments which only can be gained by filing a stomach cancer lawsuit. Our law firm can do that for you.
Proton Pump Inhibitors and Stomach Cancer
Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and orther heartburn meds are in a family of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. Though these drugs may be able to reduce or ease heartburn or acid reflux, studies show that they also can contribute to a raised risk of suffering stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer. Such drugs also are known to increase the danger of kidney damage, esophageal cancer, heart attacks and bone fractures, or broken bones.
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When it comes to kidney damage, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even issued a stronger warning on the labels of PPI drugs sold over the counter. That warning said the drugs might contribute to acute kidney injury and kidney inflammation, also known as nephritis. As for cancer, especially when used long-term, PPI drugs Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid are associated with a heightened danger of esophageal cancer and stomach cancer. In other words, the longer you use the drug, the greater the risk of stomach cancer or cancer of the esophagus.
Besides Nexium and Prilosec the extensive list of PPIs that are raising the risks of stomach cancer include:
- Nexium, Nexium IV and Nexium 24HR
- Prilosec and Prilosec OTC
- Prevacid, Prevacid OTC and Prevacid 24HR
- Zegerid OTC
- Protonix and Protonix IV
- Dexilant and Dexilant SoluTab
Studies Show PPI Usage Raise Risk of Stomach Cancer
Users commonly take PPI drugs to treat heartburn, acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Others may take them to fight bacterial infections. Users may purchase such drugs by prescription or over the counter (OTC). Regardless of the reason for taking PPI drugs, multiple studies have shown a raised risk of stomach cancer for those who take such drugs, particularly if the use is long-term, or sustained.
One study found that the use of PPI heartburn drugs doubled the danger of suffering stomach cancer. In 2011, another study at the University of Pittsburgh discovered that long-term use of PPI drugs caused users to have a significantly higher risk of developing cancer. Yet another study that examined the medical records of over 700,000 persons taking PPI drugs found that the users of these drugs were more prone to suffering esophageal cancer than were persons in the general population.
Also, a study published recently in a scientific journal found that those taking PPI drugs for extended periods were more likely to develop stomach cancer than those not taking the drugs. Such dangers also have been addressed in Gut, a peer-reviewed medical journal of the British Society of Gastroenterology. It cited a study of patients in Hong Kong which showed an increased risk of stomach cancer for those who took PPI drugs.
The European Pharmaceutical Review also noted that the long-term use of PPI reflux drugs can more than double the risk of stomach cancer. Think of it: People who innocently take a heartburn drug for indigestion may face twice the danger of suffering stomach cancer -- which can be fatal -- as a result.Numerous physicians also believe that taking PPI drugs to treat GERD “can exacerbate atrophic gastritis in the body of the stomach -- especially in people with H. pylori infection.”
What Are Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid?
As for what are the active ingredients in these PPI drugs, for Nexium it is esomeprazole, for Prevacid it is lansoprazole and for Prilosec it is omeprazole. Those strange names are for the drugs in the PPI family which can contribute to stomach cancer. Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid are simply the brand names for those drugs for marketing purposes.
Such drugs may be available in both over-the-counter form and by prescription -- and millions of people take them. Indeed, PPI drugs are in the top 10 classes of prescribed drugs and make billions of dollars for those who sell them. It’s estimated that one out of every five Americans takes some form of heartburn drug or acid reflux drug.
In fact, Nexium is the third biggest-selling drug of any type in the past 25 years. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001, Nexium already had totaled more than $72 billion in sales by the end of 2017. That’s billion, not million. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer purchased the global over-the-counter rights to sell Nexium from creator AstraZeneca in 2012. AstraZeneca maintains the rights to sell Nexium in prescription form.
AstraZeneca also makes and sells Prilosec by prescription, while over-the-counter Prilosec is sold by Procter & Gamble. Takeda Pharmaceuticals makes and sells Prevacid for prescription and over-the-counter sales. These monstrously huge corporations who peddle PPI drugs appear to be more focused on making huge profits than warning their trusting users about the possibility of dangerous if not fatal PPI drug side effects.
Even so, keep this in mind: Despite the raised risk of stomach cancer from taking such drugs, no one who takes a prescribed or over-the-counter PPI drug should stop taking it before consulting their physician and being advised to stop.