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Proving Nexium Side Effects Caused Fractures

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Boston, MAPatients who began taking Nexium before an updated warning was issued about the risk of Nexium side effects may be eligible to file a lawsuit if they suffered a fracture or bone degradation, but they must speak to an attorney soon. That is because the statute of limitations began running when the updated warning was announced. Furthermore, they must be able to show that because of the length of time they took the drug and the dose they took it at, it is likely the Nexium caused their fracture and not something else, says Ben Stewart, of Stewart Law Group PLLC.

The issue for patients and lawyers is showing that the use of Nexium is what caused the bone fractures.

“People sometimes break their hips,” Stewart says. “We have to look at the medical records to see if we could link Nexium usage to the fracture. That includes looking at how long they were on Nexium and how high the dose was. We have to show that the fracture was probably caused by Nexium. We have to causally link the fracture to the drug.”

At issue is not whether or not Nexium is a bad drug but if patients had informed consent about taking the drug. This means showing that they were not given proper information about the risks associated with Nexium when they were prescribed it.

“Once a drug is approved by the FDA, it’s no longer a case of the drug being bad but about informed consent,” Stewart says. “The same is true of Nexium. Patients can still buy it and use it but before they didn’t have the option of knowing about the risk of bone degradation. But from the moment patients were put on notice about this possible side effect [via an updated FDA warning], if they continued to take the drug, they did so at their own risk.”

In May 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that the risks associated with prescription-strength Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors included an increased risk of bone fractures. That risk increases with increased duration on the medication or higher doses. In 2011, the FDA warned that high doses of proton pump inhibitors - in both prescription and over-the-counter formulations - for a period of longer than a year are associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis, and hip, spine and wrist fractures. Patients who are concerned about the statute of limitations should know that the statute began running from that date.

A study published in the Annals of Family Medicine (5/1/11) found that patients who used proton pump inhibitors were at a higher risk of fractures than patients who used other acid-suppressive drugs. They concluded, “Widespread use of PPIs with the potential risk of fracture is of great importance to public health. Clinicians should carefully consider their decision to prescribe PPIs for patients already having an elevated risk of fracture because of age or other factors.”

Meanwhile, a study published in the British Medical Journal (1/31/12) examined the association between the use of proton pump inhibitors and the risk of fracture. The study suggested that chronic use of the medications was associated with an increased risk of hip fractures, especially in women with a history of smoking.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I have been taking Nexium for many years. I take two 40 mg pills each day. One month ago I was in Hawaii (Oahu) and went boogie boarding. I was barely in the water when a wave hit my left leg. To make a long story short, I fractured my tibia. I have had surgery (pins and a plate). I am currently in a brace and can not put any weight on my leg for 6-8 weeks, followed by 6 more weeks in the brace and slowly allowing it to be weight bearing. I am in physical therapy.

Posted by

on
Several years ago, I was in excellent health. For years, I exercised and eat a proper diet, In other words, I was the consummate recreational athlete.

Then at some point I began to suffer from acid reflex, and I consulted a doctor. The doctor prescribed acid reflex medication. I began taken some medication and a back pain developed. Therefore, the doctor prescribed another medication and finally Nexium.

At first, there was relief with Nexium. However, as time went by, I began to suffer from strange problems that included difficulty in passing food through the esophagus, and small bone fractures. Some time later, I began to have a strange feeling all over my back. My back - from the shoulders down to my middle back - felt like if were made of play-wood. I also had extreme pain.

At that point, I began to suspect that Nexium was the cause of my problems. I stopped Nexium. With-in a week, the pain on my back ended.

Unfortunately, not all the physical problems were solved. The bone fractures and the bone and esophagus damage remains. It is very unlikely that the bone and esophagus damage could ever be corrected.

My quality of life has diminished considerably. I am not able to do all the things that I was able to do before Nexium.

I know that Nexium was the cause of my health problems. Therefore, AstraZeneca - Nexium manufacturers- should be held accountable for my health deterioration and the health of many other people

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