Prilosec (omeprazole) is a common heartburn drug classified as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which is a type of drug that reduces the amount of acid produced in the stomach.
Widely used across the world for decades, healthcare providers and individuals are now questioning whether the benefits of Prilosec for conditions like heartburn outweigh mounting evidence of serious side effects, including kidney disease and stomach cancer.
Thousands of Prilosec and PPI drug lawsuits have been filed by individuals across the country on account of personal injury and wrongful death after taking Prilosec.
Prilosec is one of several proton pump inhibitors that has been named in recent PPI lawsuits.
Drugs similar to Prilosec that been linked to serious health issues include:
Most of the thousands of Prilosec lawsuits currently filed in federal court were combined into a single Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in 2017, with more cases filed every day. If you or a loved one has developed severe health issues such as kidney disease or stomach cancer after taking Prilosec, the attorneys of Florin|Roebig can determine whether you qualify to file a lawsuit against Prilosec drug manufacturers.
Prilosec Uses: Conditions Treated By Prilosec
Prilosec is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drug that is primarily used to treat heartburn and acid reflux. It is available over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription for short and long-term use. Similar to histamine blockers like Zantac, Prilosec works in the body by directly reducing the amount of acid that is produced within the stomach.
When the stomach is producing too much acid, that acid can travel upwards to the esophagus, causing heartburn and other health problems. Reducing the production of acid can therefore help ease discomfort and prevent damage to the esophagus.
Common uses for Prilosec include:
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- damage to the stomach and esophagus
- difficulty swallowing
- persistent cough
- preventing esophageal cancer
- prevention or treatment of ulcers
Prilosec was first approved for use as a prescription drug in the U.S. in 1989. In 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded this approval to the over-the-counter Prilosec product, Prilosec OTC. The primary manufacturers of Prilosec include AstraZeneca (prescription) and Proctor and Gamble (OTC).
Prior to 2017, proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec and Nexium had been some of the most widely prescribed drugs worldwide, largely for the long-term treatment of heartburn, GERD, and ulcers.
However, this widespread use of Prilosec and other PPI prescriptions has dropped dramatically in recent years, in response to multiple studies indicating serious health problems linked to their use.
While PPIs were formerly believed to be effective and safe for various health conditions, this safety is now in serious question and has been the subject of rigorous investigation by personal injury attorneys nationwide.
Prilosec (Omeprazole) Dangers And Side Effects
In 2003, Prilosec became the first FDA-approved, over-the-counter drug for frequent heartburn. However, multiple studies from the past two decades have demonstrated evidence of serious side effects occurring in those who take PPIs like Prilosec.
Dangerous side effects linked to Prilosec use include:
- kidney disease
- kidney failure (end-stage renal disease)
- stomach cancer
- esophageal cancer
- acute interstitial nephritis (AIN)
- kidney inflammation
- swelling of the intestines
- bone fractures
- heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
These potential dangers of Prilosec are largely associated with long-term use. People who have been prescribed Prilosec (omeprazole) or have taken the drug over-the-counter on a regular basis for years may be at increased risk for kidney issues, stomach cancer, and other serious side effects attributed to long-term Prilosec use.
What To Know About Prilosec (Omeprazole) Lawsuits
The first of more than 4,500 lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are scheduled to go on trial in September 2020.
If you’ve suffered serious adverse effects after taking Prilosec (omeprazole) or lost a loved one to a Prilosec-caused health condition, here is the most important information to know about the latest Prilosec lawsuits.
Why Are People Suing Prilosec Manufacturers?
Prilosec lawsuits are being filed across the country in response to significant evidence pointing to a link between serious health issues—including kidney disease and gastric cancer—and long-term use of Prilosec products.
Plaintiffs within Prilosec lawsuits allege that the primary manufacturers of Prilosec products were aware of the dangers of using their products, knowingly marketed potentially dangerous drugs, and failed to warn consumers of the health risks associated with use of their drugs.
In court filings, attorneys have alleged that:
- Prilosec manufacturers failed to properly test their drugs
- Prilosec is unreasonably dangerous and defective
- The safety of Prilosec is unlawfully misrepresented in its marketing materials
- The manufacturers of Prilosec concealed evidence of potential health risks from the government, healthcare providers, and the broader public
- Prilosec drugmakers have demonstrated negligent behavior in producing dangerous and defective drugs
Kidney issues, such as end-stage renal disease and chronic kidney disease, are the primary health issues named in the latest round of Prilosec lawsuits. Individuals who have developed other serious side effects linked to Prilosec, such as gastric cancer, may also be eligible to take legal action against Prilosec drugmakers to seek compensation.
When Were The Dangerous Side Effects Of Prilosec Discovered?
Multiple research studies published over the last two decades have shown results indicating a variety of health risks associated with Prilosec and other PPIs.
What Was Known About Prilosec Prior To 2016
In 2010, the manufacturers of Prilosec were pressured by the FDA to edit their warning label to include increased risk for bone fractures. This followed evidence that emerged from a 2006 study indicating that Prilosec could increase the risk for bone fractures in older adults.
Another study published in 2013 analyzed results of over 4,500 articles and 11 observational studies and found that PPIs like Prilosec could increase the risk of developing gastric (stomach) cancer up to 50 percent.
In 2014, the FDA required PPI manufacturers to update their drug warning labels to include a risk for acute interstitial nephritis (AIN).
The first study indicating the alarming connection between kidney issues and Prilosec was published in a Canadian journal in 2015. This initiated the current concern about Prilosec drugs and was followed by a large-scale study in 2016 that provided greater support for dangerous health risks.
Prilosec Side Effects: 2016 To Present
The primary research study that sparked the recent wave of Prilosec lawsuits is a 2016 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The findings of this study revealed that among 200,000 participants who had taken either a proton pump inhibitor (e.g. Prilosec) or histamine blocker (e.g. Zantac) for heartburn, those who had taken a PPI had a 20 to 50 percent greater risk of developing kidney disease after five years.
Other studies have further supported evidence of kidney problems resulting from Prilosec use, as well as the emergence of other health issues such as intestinal swelling, increased risk for Alzheimer’s, and increased risk for suffering heart attacks after taking Prilosec.
Prilosec lawsuits allege that Proctor and Gamble, the primary manufacturer of Prilosec OTC, were aware of the kidney issues that could develop from the use of their drugs for over a decade before providing any type of warning to consumers.
Has Prilosec Been Recalled?
No. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which serves as the primary watchdog over drug evaluation and safety, has not issued a recall for Prilosec OTC, prescription Prilosec, or generic omeprazole.
Taking Legal Action Against Prilosec Drugmakers
To date, over 15,000 individual lawsuits have been filed against proton pump inhibitor drug manufacturers since 2017. Defendants in Prilosec lawsuits include AstraZeneca, who makes prescription Prilosec products, and Proctor and Gamble, the maker of Prilosec OTC.
Many of these lawsuits have been grouped into multidistrict litigation (MDL), a process that makes large numbers of individual lawsuits easier for the courts to manage.
Lawyers who are involved in these cases estimate that the number of lawsuits filed against PPI drugmakers will continue growing based on the wide use of these drugs for long-term health conditions.
What Can I Get Out Of Filing A Prilosec Lawsuit?
One of the most common questions asked by anyone who’s considering taking legal action is what they can expect to be awarded in a favorable outcome.
According to ongoing reports, the pharmaceutical companies named in Prilosec lawsuits have been largely uncooperative in bringing the thousands of lawsuits filed against them to trial. Most powerful and profitable companies don’t take pleasure in awarding monetary settlements, even when they are verifiably in the wrong.
If you’ve suffered personal injury as a result of taking Prilosec, or lost a loved one to severe health issues linked to Prilosec, filing a lawsuit may help you recover damages for financial, physical, and psychological damages.
The following damages may be recoverable through filing a Prilosec lawsuit:
- past and current medical expenses
- projected treatment and recovery expenses
- past and future wage loss
- loss of enjoyment for life
- pain and suffering costs (mental and physical)
- loss of earning capacity
Recovering compensation from Prilosec drugmakers is not simply a matter of setting the matter straight. Many people who have developed serious health issues after taking Prilosec require extensive, long-term treatment and care, which can become a significant burden to themselves and those around them.
Seeking compensation might serve as a critical part of the treatment and recovery process for many individuals and their loved ones who have suffered after taking Prilosec.
Understanding Types Of Prilosec Lawsuits
Understanding every aspect of personal injury law and how to file a lawsuit is not required in order to take legal action against a drug company for negligence. However, it can be helpful both in your search for an attorney and within the process of litigation to understand some key basics.
One of the basic details that might be important to understand if you wish to take legal action for Prilosec side effects is the different types of lawsuits that may be filed against Prilosec drugmakers.
Prilosec Personal Injury Lawsuits
Personal injury lawsuits can be filed by any individual who has suffered unlawful harm due to the negligence of a person, company, agency, or institution.
Over the past few years, thousands of Prilosec personal injury lawsuits have been filed, alleging that the pharmaceutical companies who produce Prilosec products failed to properly warn the government, doctors, and consumers of the serious health risks associated with their use.
Personal injury lawsuits can help individuals who have been harmed by defective or dangerous drugs seek compensation for economic and non-economic losses suffered.
Examples of injuries named in Prilosec personal injury lawsuits:
- end-stage renal disease
- kidney disease
- acute and chronic kidney injury
- stomach cancer
Prilosec Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Family members of individuals who have died due to health issues linked to long-term Prilosec use may be eligible to file a Prilosec wrongful death claim.
A plaintiff in Maryland, for example, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Prilosec drugmakers in 2017 on behalf of her mother, who died due to kidney issues after taking Prilosec regularly for years. Others in states across the country have followed suit, filing individual and multidistrict claims against Prilosec drugmakers as they grieve their lost loved ones.
Prilosec Class Action Vs. Multidistrict
If you’re wondering if you qualify to join a Prilosec class action, you may benefit from understanding what makes a class action different from a multidistrict lawsuit.
Class actions refer to single lawsuits that represent groups (a class) of people who have been similarly harmed by a person, product, or service. The settlements out of class actions are divided in equal shares among all named plaintiffs, ensuring that each member gets equal compensation.
Multidistrict lawsuits, or multidistrict litigation, refers to individual lawsuits that have been grouped together into a single multidistrict lawsuit. Unlike a class action suit, however, suits included in multidistrict lawsuits remain individual.
This allows plaintiffs to negotiate their own settlements based on the extent of their losses. They also receive the entirety of the settlement eventually awarded in the event of a favorable outcome.
Is There A Prilosec Class Action Against Drugmakers?
While the manufacturers of Prilosec have been defendants in previous class actions for side effects such as bone fractures, the current Prilosec kidney lawsuits are primarily lawsuits filed by individuals, many of which have been grouped into multidistrict litigation lawsuits.
Lawyers and attorneys who are handling these lawsuits, however, believe that a future class action for Prilosec may be likely based on the sheer number of people likely affected by the dangerous side effects of the drug.
Prilosec Lawsuit Attorneys Serving the U.S.
Taking legal action against pharmaceutical companies who have done you or a loved one harm can be a major challenge. The attorneys of Florin|Roebig can help.
As a law firm that has won over $1 billion in results for clients nationwide and houses attorneys who are experienced in handling dangerous drug cases, our team is capable of effectively representing the interests of those harmed by Prilosec drugmakers.
Our award-winning team of attorneys serving clients across the nation includes:
- Wil H. Florin, B.C.S.
- Tommy D. Roebig, B.C.S.
- Michael L. Walker, B.C.S.
- Shaun M. Cummings
- Luca G. Esposito
- Chad K. Florin, M.B.A., LL.M.
- Nicholas S. Costantino
- Jordan A. Kolinski
- Matthew L. McMullen
- Michael A. Ossi, O.C.
- Lawrence J. Najem, O.C.
- Andrew M. Leone, O.C.
- Nollys R. Solarte, O.C.
- Brian R. Dettman, O.C.
Find Help Filing A Prilosec Lawsuit
If you’ve developed kidney issues, gastric cancer, or other serious health issues after taking Prilosec, you may be eligible to join others in suing Prilosec drugmakers.
The seasoned attorneys of Florin|Roebig can determine your eligibility to sue these pharmaceutical companies and receive compensation. Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our top-rated Prilosec lawsuit attorneys.