Nexium Lawsuits – Kidney Failure, Renal failure, Nephritis
The popular heartburn medication Nexium (esomeprazole) is used by hundreds of thousands of patients, yet for some, the medication can harm the kidneys. Many people tolerate using the medication without obvious side effects, but the kidney damage isn’t a direct result of taking it. Instead, a domino effect happens that robs the body of vital magnesium which in turn exacerbates or creates kidney-related issues.
How Nexium Harms the Kidneys
Nexium is a proton pump inhibitor, and prevents the stomach from overproduction of acid. It turns off some of the acid producing pumps in the stomach while leaving others to operate normally. Less creation of acid means no more heartburn and its related damage to the esophagus. On the surface, this is a good thing for users as it offers relief from the aggravations of heartburn. But the medication has a reputation for decreasing the body’s ability to absorb vital nutrients such as calcium and magnesium.
It is well known that Nexium prevents the body from absorbing calcium, resulting in loss of bone density and causing fractures. What is less well known is the fact that it also stops absorption of magnesium, a vital nutrient needed for the kidneys to function properly. This issue doesn’t begin overnight. Rather, a user has to be taking the medication for at least three months before symptoms appear. In the meantime, damage is being done to the kidneys.
Nexium and Kidney Failure
Currently, the link with low magnesium to renal problems such as interstitial nephritis and renal failure is tenuous. What is known is that there are cases of nephritis and kidney failure that have a direct link to taking Nexium. It’s suspected that the lack of magnesium is the trigger for the kidneys to shut down.
Recovery for patients after interstitial nephritis were mixed. Some patients recovered full kidney function after treatment with steroids and short-term dialysis. Others recovered for a period of time, then suffered from kidney failure and had to go on long-term dialysis.
Symptoms of renal failure include:
- Fever with no obvious cause
- Appearance of blood in the urine
- Urine output is either increased or decreased
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Increased mental confusion and/or drowsiness
- Unexplained swelling in the body, can be in any location
- Weight gain as a result of retaining fluid
- Skin rash
These symptoms are subtle and can be easily dismissed as being caused by a virus. Kidney problems are a silent one and many people go about their daily lives without realizing their kidneys are shutting down. By the time an individual realizes that the problem is more than just a cold, it may be too late.
Has Nexium Caused Renal Failure?
Nexium is supposed to be a safe drug for those who take it. Yet, the manufacturer, AstraZeneca, either failed to properly test for all side effects, or knew about them and put the drug on the market despite the risks. It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to put unsafe medications on the market in a search for profits over safety.
Someone who has suffered as a result of taking Nexium has the option to go to court over their suffering. In order to learn more, talk to a defective drug lawyer about the case. A lawyer can help a client ask for damages to cover unexpected medical bills, along with pain and suffering from the impact to quality of life.