Among the reported risks of Nexium is an increased risk of bone death, fractures and calcium waste in the bones. Specifically, bone degradation tends to occur in the hips, wrist and spine of patients who have used Nexium at the highest dose over the longest time.
“Some patients would have pain, but sometimes bone degradation is asymptomatic until the patient has a skeletal failure,” Stewart says. “A lot of times, bone degradation doesn’t cause pain until the patient has an impingement or a break, so patients cannot rely on pain alone to tell them there is a problem. If they have been on a high dose of Nexium or they have been on it long-term - the FDA recommends 12 months or longer, but we recommend six months - they may want to seek the advice of an orthopedic doctor.”
In 2010, the FDA issued its first warning about proton pump inhibitors. At the time, the FDA required AstraZeneca, maker of Nexium, and the makers of other proton pump inhibitors to include more safety information about the risks associated with taking the prescription version of the drugs for long periods.
In 2011, the FDA updated its earlier warning about prescription proton pump inhibitors to include information about over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors. This warning noted that an increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist and spine could be found in patients who took high doses of proton pump inhibitors or used the medications for a year or more.
Because of the timing of the FDA’s announcement, patients have only a short time to bring a claim alleging AstraZeneca failed to adequately warn patients about the risks forward.
READ MORE NEXIUM USE AND INCREASED RISK FOR FRACTURE LEGAL NEWS
Patients who were taking Nexium prior to the FDA’s 2010 announcement may be eligible to file a claim alleging they were not adequately warned about the risks associated with the drug, if they suffered a fracture or other injury associated with bone degradation.
Nexium (known generically as esomeprazole magnesium) is a proton pump inhibitor, used to treat peptic ulcer disease.
“Patients shouldn’t put off speaking to an attorney,” Stewart says. “They should speak to one sooner to ensure they don’t lose their valuable legal rights.”