The popular heartburn medication Nexium, released by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in 2001, has been used by millions around the globe to treat their chronic heartburn with relatively few side effects. Minor side effects include dry mouth, headaches and minor abdominal pain, which are certainly manageable.
However, more severe side effects have come to light in thousands of patients, side effects undisclosed by AstraZeneca and not mentioned on Nexium’s list of side effect, and hundreds of these patients have filed lawsuits seeking financial compensation for their pain and suffering as a result.
Serious side effects include…
It has been revealed that Nexium can lead to severe kidney complications and even accelerated dementia in its patients. Lawsuits stemming from kidney damage have been filed against AstraZeneca as far back as 2004, and yet they have continued to release the product without mentioning the potential risk of kidney damage. On Nexium’s own website, there is no mention of these well-established risks.
Three studies from 2015 and 2016 showed evidence that patients who were currently taking Nexium were twice as likely to sustain an acute kidney injury, that patients had a 20 to 50 percent higher chance of developing chronic kidney disease, and that patients taking Nexium had a 44 percent higher risk of developing dementia.
Clearly, the risks are not insignificant. These side effects are not only dangerous to a person’s overall health and wellbeing, they can be incredibly costly as well.
Kidney disease sufferers may need to undergo dialysis, transplants or grafts, and will likely maintain consistent hospital visits throughout the rest of their lives to keep an eye on their condition. Kidney failure accounts for about $42.5 billion annually in private and Medicare costs according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Sufferers of dementia can lose their independence, their job, and more, as they may need to be moved into an expensive assisted living facility. Dementia can be extremely painful for both the individual and their families to go through, not to mention the fact that the average assisted living care facility can cost upwards of $70,000 or more per year.
History of legal action
Hundreds of patients who have been negatively affected by Nexium have sought financial recompense as a result of their pain and suffering, both individually and as a group through class action lawsuits. AstraZeneca has been sued over the past decade for negligence, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and product defects.
Three of these class actions suits were settled in 2015. One ended with a $24 million settlement, another ended with a $20 million settlement, and the last one settled for $7.9 million. More lawsuits are cropping up in recent years with yet another allegation – that Nexium causes bone density loss leading to an increased risk of bone fractures. Continue reading