What Are Your Options if You Have Suffered from Taking Prilosec?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Timothy Tonkin with Phillips Law Group.
Prilosec (omeprazole), has been used since the late ‘80s to treat certain gastroesophageal problems including acid reflux, heartburn, and ulcers. Prilosec is considered one of the first in a class of gastroesophageal drugs referred to as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which help to relieve some types of stomach and esophageal distress by preventing stomach cells from pumping acid into the stomach.
Unfortunately, in recent years a connection has been discovered between long-term use of Prilosec and the development of dangerous conditions, including acute interstitial nephritis and kidney disease. Prilosec and similar forms of omeprazole are currently under investigation for their allegedly dangerous side effects of long-term use. If you or a loved one suffered a dangerous or painful health condition you suspect may be related to long-term use of Prilosec, reach out to a product liability attorney as soon as possible.
Serious ramifications of taking Prilosec over time may include the following:
- Acute interstitial nephritis (AIN): AIN refers to a renal lesion which typically marks a decline in kidney function, kidney-centered infections, and other help complications. This condition can be caused by certain autoimmune disorders but is often the result of drug therapy.
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD): CKD refers to kidney damage that continues over a period of time, generally worsening with age and even leading to renal failure. In late stages of CKD, a kidney transplant and/or dialysis may be necessary to ensure the blood can continue to be filtered of harmful water and waste.
- Renal or kidney failure: Renal and kidney failure are terms used interchangeably to describe the complete loss of the kidneys’ ability to filter waste and balance fluid. Kidney transplants and/or dialysis may be used to treat renal/kidney failure, which is often fatal without treatment.
- Acute kidney failure: Unlike chronic kidney disease or failure as a result of kidney disease, acute kidney failure occurs suddenly without the same build-up over time. When kidneys experience a direct injury or some type of obstruction, the patient is more at risk of acute kidney failure.
If you have experienced any kind of kidney damage or injury, chronic or otherwise, while taking or after taking Prilosec, it’s important to document your condition and reach out to a product liability attorney as soon as possible. It may be possible to seek compensation for certain damages, including the medical expenses necessary for ongoing treatment, lost wages, life care expenses, and more.
Symptoms of kidney damage as the result of taking Prilosec may include but are not limited to the following:
- Swelling in the legs, ankles, and/or feet
- Fluid buildup in the lungs
- Abnormal heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Difficulty urinating
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
If you suspect your condition is related to Prilosec use, there are a series of steps you can take to pursue recovery.
- Preserve the medicine: Whenever you suspect that a medication you are taking or have taken may be connected to adverse health effects or injuries, it’s important to maintain possession of the drug itself. Place the medicine in a sealed container in addition to any instructional material or packaging that may have come with it. Do not throw away any medication you suspect might be defective; the medicine itself in addition to its accompanying material are central pieces of evidence if you should choose to join or pursue litigation.
- Talk to your doctor: If you suspect that Prilosec or another form of omeprazole has damaged your body, talk to your doctor as soon as possible; it may be possible to change to a different medication or stop taking it altogether to mitigate the continued adverse effects of the drug. Additionally, this ensures that you are able to begin receiving the necessary medical treatment for your kidney damage right away. Seeking medical care also ensures that an official record exists to document your condition if you choose to pursue litigation.
- Collect your records: From purchase receipts for the product itself to medical records and witness testimonies, it’s a good idea to collect any evidence documenting your time taking the drug and any potential adverse effects. Medical records specifically can help prove to a court how long you were taking the medicine, when your symptoms began, and when you realized that you had suffered a serious or permanent injury as a result of the drug.
- Talk to an attorney: It is vitally important to talk to an experienced product liability attorney as soon as possible if you suspect a medication you are taking or have taken caused you an injury. Some litigation for Prilosec is ongoing, and an attorney may be able to help you join an existing case so that you can receive damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. Similarly, an attorney can help you evaluate your case, collect evidence, and file a claim of your own to seek compensation for your physical and financial losses if you should choose.
To learn more about the potential dangers of Prilosec or for help filing a claim, reach out to a product liability attorney.