Antacids such as Prilosec and Nexium are amongst the most highly used drugs in the United States, with up to 20 million Americans using these medications every year. Thus, it likely shocked many patients when earlier this month researchers from Stanford University published a study … Full Story
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping patients who have suffered from serious side effects of potentially dangerous drugs. Recently, the wildly popular acid medication Nexium and other drugs in its family have been linked with a higher risk of heart attacks and cardiac deaths, adding to the long list of serious Nexium side effects which may be very harmful.
What is Nexium?
Nexium (esomeprazole, esomeprazole magnesium) is a blockbuster drug made by AstraZenica and approved by the FDA in 2001. Nexium is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which is a class of drugs designed to reduce stomach acid which causes GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), heartburn, and ulcers. A recent Stanford study reported that roughly 20 million Americans take Nexium or another PPI (Prilosec, Aciphex, Prevacid, Zegerid) every year—and many of these patients may not be aware that Nexium has been linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, heart deaths, bone fractures, and other serious side effects.
Nexium Increases Heart Attack Risk
For a number of years, doctors suspected that PPIs like Nexium may raise the risk of heart attack in patients, especially in patients already taking the blood thinner Plavix. However, research published by Stanford University doctors in the journal PLOS One in June 2015 shows that use of Plavix does not increase the risk of Nexium heart attacks. Actually, patients who take Nexium or another PPI are roughly 20% more likely to take a heart attack—whether they use Plavix or not. Additionally, these doctors also found that coronary deaths are twice as likely in PPI users.
What many patients may also be shocked to learn is that study lead doctor Nigam H. Shah told Reuters reporters that these findings are "not super surprising." Study authors have also stated that if the data mining technology they used to obtain their results had been available years ago, the risk of Nexium heart attacks could have been documented up to 15 years ago.
Nexium and Bone Fractures
Before the risk of Nexium heart attacks became public knowledge, the major PPI side effect in the headlines was the higher risk of bone fractures, especially in women. As early as 2006, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that use of a PPI may raise the risk of a hip fracture by up to 2.65 times. Years later, in 2010, the FDA issued a warning about Nexium bone fractures, stating that the risk of a hip, wrist, or spine fracture increases with every year a patient uses a PPI. In 2012, the British Medical Journal published research which stated that post-menopausal women are up to 35% more likely to suffer a hip fracture if they take Nexium or another PPI.
Suffered from Nexium Side Effects?
Research shows that up to 20 million Americans take Nexium or another PPI every year to help control stomach acid. Sadly, many of these patients are not aware that these drugs, many of which are available over-the-counter, can cause serious and devastating side effects including broken bones, heart attacks, and even death. Now, a number of injured patients and grieving family members are claiming that if AstraZenica and other pharmaceutical manufacturers had been more forthcoming about Nexium risks, they would have been spared significant suffering. If you believe that you may be owed compensation after you suffered from Nexium side effects, please contact us today to discuss your claim and learn more about your rights.