Prilosec (omeprazole) is an antacid medication produced by pharmaceuticals manufacturer AstraZeneca. The drug is intended to help patients suffering from heartburn and acid reflux concerns by reducing the amount of stomach acid being produced. Unfortunately, many patients claim that its effects have done more harm than good.
Unlike typical over-the-counter remedies like chewable calcium carbonate tablets, Prilosec aims to prevent excess acid rather than treat its symptoms. It does so by blocking the proton pump system in the cells that produce stomach acid, which is why it’s known as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication. With many users alleging harm and recent data revealing major potential issues, the safety of Prilosec and its fellow PPIs has come into question.
Research into proton pump inhibitor medications, in general, has raised serious concerns about their effects on kidney health. In particular, scientists and doctors point to the prevalence of something called “acute interstitial nephritis,” a condition in which the spaces between the renal tubes of the kidney become inflamed. This inflammation can interfere with the healthy functioning of the kidneys, producing all kinds of health problems and potentially leading to total kidney failure.
Other concerns about PPIs like Prilosec include potential links to things like dementia, vitamin deficiencies, other gastrointestinal problems, heart conditions, and reduced bone density. Research into these areas is still ongoing, but the studies that have been published—like a German study that concluded PPI users’ risk of dementia could be as high as 44%—have given the medical community pause.
Omeprazole, the generic name for Prilosec, has seen a total of 11 recalls between 2012 and 2016. Most of the recalls have been for minor reasons, but these have been the three largest:
Neither the FDA nor the drug manufacturers have issued any new recalls for the drug since late 2016.
Prilosec OTC is a relatively low-dose preparation of the
drug (equivalent to 20 mg of prescription Prilosec) that is available over the
counter for those who suffer frequent heartburn but do not necessarily need a
prescription strength dose. Unfortunately, even the dosage in the
over-the-counter version can pose risks.
Examples of possible omeprazole side effects include the following:
If you’ve been taking Prilosec or Prilosec OTC for acid reflux issues and believe you have suffered injury or illness as a result, you may be owed compensation. Because you will need to show a reasonable link between the Prilosec you took and the harm that was done, the answer to whether or not you have a case will depend strongly on things like medical records, the severity of harm, and other such details.
To truly determine whether or not your situation is suitable for a lawsuit, you’ll want to speak one-on-one with an experienced harmful drug lawyer. An attorney can take a look at all the facts of the situation and apply legal expertise to determine whether or not a strong enough case can be built.
Numerous lawsuits alleging harm from taking Prilosec and Prilosec OTC have already been filed, many of which have been combined into a Multidistrict Litigation (or MDL) with other proton pump inhibitor suits. By trying the cases together as an MDL, the lawsuits can be addressed more quickly and be overseen by the same court.
MDL 2789 was created in the fall of 2017, and the first trial (a test case known as a bellwether trial) will be heard in 2020. In the meantime, more lawsuits have continued to be filed; as of early 2019, there are more than 2,700 PPI medication lawsuits pending. As these cases are still in progress, no Prilosec lawsuit settlement has yet been ordered for them.
These won’t be the first Prilosec-related cases against manufacturers and marketers, however.
AstraZeneca and its cohorts have also been called out for attempts to manipulate consumers and suppress competition, leading to settlements like the following:
When you turn to medical professionals to help you with a problem, you trust that they have your best interests at heart. In turn, those medical professionals generally trust that the pharmaceutical manufacturers that provide treatment have done their due diligence to ensure a safe and effective product for their patients. When a drug turns out to be harmful to patients, the experience can be devastating. If this has happened to you, you deserve to be compensated for the physical and emotional damage you’ve suffered.
At Saunders & Walker P.A., we have the strong experience and knowledge necessary to fight for the rights of those victimized by harmful drugs. When you work with us, we’ll work with you to gather all the necessary medical records, medication information, and other evidence needed to build a strong case. We’ll also make sure you understand what your rights and obligations are as a victim and walk you through the process of filing and pursuing your Prilosec lawsuit.
To learn more about how we can help you seek justice and discuss whether or not you have a case, contact us online or call (727) 579-4500 to schedule a free initial consultation.