Among other similar drugs in the legal spotlight these days is Prilosec, a popular medication that is often used to treat heartburn. Prilosec is manufactured by a worldwide biopharmaceutical business, AstraZeneca. That company has been the target of many individual and class action lawsuits for harm that resulted from use of Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), Nexium and Prevacid, which also are produced by AstraZeneca.
The generic name of Prilosec is Omeprazole. Used to treat problems of the stomach and esophagus, Prilosec belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). By decreasing the amount of gastric acid produced by the body’s natural proton pump, it can relieve symptoms of heartburn, persistent cough and difficulty swallowing.
Gastric acid is produced in the body as a way to help digest food. When too much of this acid is released, there can be serious physical problems within the digestive tract and stomach areas. Reduction of the acid amount released internally helps to heal damage done by the acid in those areas, and it may also prevent serious problems like ulcers and esophageal cancer.
Prilosec – Hidden Risks
Previous studies of the drug Prilosec reveal hidden risks that consumers should be aware of. The maker of Prilosec, AstraZeneca, has a history of problems related to this drug that they introduced in 1989. The first issue involved its name, Losec, which was at first confused with Lasix, another drug of a similar name. The two drugs have very different effects, and serious harm was done. Some patients who needed the other drug were given this one instead, and then had serious adverse reactions that resulted in death. To avoid this problem, the drug name was then changed to Prilosec.
Other hidden risks that were not disclosed by the manufacturer include potential hazards like development of intestinal infections, kidney disease or failure, dementia, low magnesium levels, and bone fractures. People who used Prilosec for heartburn also discovered that it does not provide immediate relief from heartburn. It is meant to be used only for persistent and frequent heartburn, and it takes some time to be effective. It also can interact with other medications, causing physical harm, so it is necessary to only use Prilosec under a doctor’s care and recommendation.
Some symptoms like heartburn mimic more serious issues, like an oncoming heart attack or other medical problem. This is another reason to consult with your physician before taking Prilosec. Studies have shown that people taking Prilosec do have an increased risk for heart attacks. Those studies also showed a 44 percent increased risk for developing dementia, 20 – 50 percent risk of developing chronic kidney disease, and that users are more than twice as likely to have kidney injury or failure.
Lawsuits – Prilosec
Due to the serious harm that many people suffered after taking Prilosec, there have been many individual and class action lawsuits filed against the drug manufacturer, AstraZeneca. When a product is defective in design, manufacture or marketing, injured victims turn to the legal system for justice.
- Damage Claims – Plaintiffs in Prilosec lawsuits have filed many damage claims to recover fair compensation for personal and financial costs that result from harmful effects of Prilosec. They seek fair compensation for a variety of claims, including pain and suffering, medical care expenses, after care, income loss and other issues related to that harm. Other studies have indicated that Prilosec use in pregnancy may cause harm to the baby as well as the mother.
- Negligence – Prilosec lawsuits claim negligence by AstraZeneca in several areas of concern that also led to physical, financial, and emotional harm for users. By not disclosing potential side effects that the company knew about, users suffered unnecessarily. In some cases, this negligence resulted in very serious medical problems, or death.
- Fair Compensation – This is an area of law where an experienced personal injury attorney can offer excellent advice and representation to the injured victim or survivors. When a lifestyle is forever changed by harm attributed to negligent behavior, the amount of compensation that is deemed fair can be difficult to assess. Taken into account here are items like medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, income loss, loss of companionship/guidance and, when the victim dies, the survivors may claim compensation for items like loss of future inheritance, and funeral and burial costs.
Prilosec Class Action Lawsuits & Settlements
After studies showed a link between Prilosec and kidney damage, dementia, and other side effects like bone fractures, lawyers accepted claims by individuals and class groups against the drug manufacturer, AstraZeneca.
Early lawsuits included claims of negligence in that the company failed to warn users of all possible side effects and that they produced a defective product. As a result of those earlier lawsuits, updated warning labels were created and used on Prilosec packaging. More recent Prilosec lawsuits involve claims about financial matters. Claims include accusations of price fixing, substituting identical drugs at a higher price, allowing the Prilosec patent to run out, so that a more expensive drug, Nexium, had to be substituted.
Several class action lawsuits have resulted in extremely high fines, up to $20 million in the 2015 case about substituting a new drug that was much more expensive than Prilosec. In another recent case, the main lawsuit issue was that the over-the-counter (OTC) version of Prilosec increased the user’s chances for contracting food poisoning as a side effect that was not disclosed in the warnings.
Personal Injury Attorney
Use the legal system to obtain fair compensation for your Prilosec damage claims and to obtain the justice you deserve. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney who has successfully represented clients in Prilosec damage lawsuits to determine if you are eligible to either join an existing class action lawsuit or file an individual lawsuit for damages due to use of Prilosec. You should not suffer physical harm, financial stress or other damage due to the negligent behavior of another person or company.