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Georgia Plaintiff Alleges Use of Nexium Caused Chronic Kidney Disease

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Shirlene Bonner, like many Americans suffers from heartburn. And like many Americans she used a proton pump inhibitor to relieve her symptoms. Now she says prolonged use of Nexium triggered chronic kidney disease, and she's suing the manufacturer.

Newark, NJHeartburn, more correctly known as acid reflux, continues to be a common complaint affecting a vast cross section of the American population. Relief is often in the form of medication - and, specifically proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium, a product of AstraZeneca. Plaintiff Shirlene Bonner began regular use of Nexium to relieve heartburn from 2003 until 2015, until a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) found her searching for answers as to what may have triggered her CKD. Bonner alleges in her PPI lawsuit that Nexium, a proton pump inhibitor, is the root cause.

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic heartburn

Bonner pulls no punches. She alleges the manufacturer of Nexium knew for years about the potential for chronic kidney disease associated with prolonged use of esomeprazole magnesium (Nexium), but failed to warn consumers, their pharmacists and caregivers about the potential for proton pump inhibitor side effects.

"Despite clear knowledge that Nexium causes a significantly increased risk of CKD (chronic kidney disease), AKI (acute kidney injury) and other renal impairment, Defendants continue to market and sell Nexium without warning consumers or healthcare providers of the significant risks to the kidney," according to Bonner's PPI lawsuit. "Defendants still do not warn of the potential risks of CKD and AKI associated with the use of Nexium in the product labeling, nor in direct consumer advertising."

Bonner goes on to say that had she known about the risks with regard to proton pump inhibitor side effects, she would not have remained on Nexium for such a prolonged period of time and would have switched to another antacid to relieve her heartburn.

"During the period in which Nexium has been sold in the United States, hundreds of reports of injury have been submitted to the FDA regarding the ingestion of Nexium and other PPIs," the lawsuit filed by Bonner states. "Defendants have had notice of serious adverse health outcomes through case reports, clinical studies and post-market surveillance."

Had she known the risks, Plaintiff would have sought alternatives

Those clinical studies referenced include one appearing early in 2016 and published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). Study authors Yan Xie, Benjamin Bowe, Tingting Li, Hong Xian,‡ Sumitra Balasubramanian, and Ziyad Al-Aly noted that patients who consume PPIs such as Nexium are more likely to develop kidney failure, with 28 percent of patients more likely to develop chronic kidney disease. Prolonged use only serves to increase those odds.

A separate study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine also in 2016 noted a 20-50 percent increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) associated with proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium. The risk of a decline in kidney function was 32 percent higher for people taking PPIs.

Experts advocate monitoring of kidney function with prolonged use

Study authors also suggested that PPIs should be used for relief of gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux, or GERD and commonly referenced as heartburn) only when medically required. Should prolonged use remain necessary, regular monitoring of kidney function is strongly recommended.

PPI lawsuit plaintiffs suggest none of this was communicated to them by the manufacturers and marketers.

Bonner's PPI kidney disease lawsuit is Shirlene Bonner v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP and AstraZeneca LP, Case No. 2:18-cv-01470 filed February 1, 2018 and consolidated as part of IN RE: Proton Pump Inhibitor Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2789, in US District Court for the District of New Jersey, Newark Division.

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