Nexium Lawsuit Possible as Link to Increased Risk of Dementia Found

Proton pump inhibitors, also known as PPI’s have been linked to an increase in risk of dementia and opens the door for a Nexium lawsuit to move forward because of this link and other Nexium side effects.

Proton pump inhibitors — commonly referred to as PPIs — are a class of drugs that reduce the production of gastric acid, and are commonly used to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and stomach ulcers. For years, these drugs were only available by prescription, but in recent years, PPIs such as Prevacid, Prilosec and Zegerid, have been sold over-the-counter.

Nexium is the top-selling PPI, earning nearly $6 billion in revenue for its maker, AstraZeneca. According to Consumer reports, the average monthly cost of a 20 mg Nexium prescription is $240 if taken once a day. With so much money at stake, it’s not surprising that PPI manufacturers have spent billions persuading doctors to prescribe their drugs, even to patients who would benefit more from H2 blockers — antacids — that do not present the same possible health risks as PPIs.

The Troubling Stats

According to IMS Health, a health-care research market research firm, more than 15 million Americans regularly take PPIs. Doctors write more than 100 million prescriptions for PPIs each year, making them the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. IMS also reported that PPIs account for $15 billion in sales each year, and that number is expected to rise over the next decade. Researchers estimate that 60 to 70 percent of people, who take PPIs for heartburn, are over-diagnosed, meaning that they could control their condition with diet changes rather than taking drugs such as Nexium.

"Consumers need to ask their doctors, Why am I taking this? Do I still need this? Do I have an alternative?"

Dr. Mitchell Katz, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health

PPIs Linked To An Increased Risk of Dementia

Recent studies have shown a possible link between people who regularly take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) sold under brand names such as Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid, and dementia. While researchers caution that the studies only showed an association between taking PPIs, and dementia, future clinical trials may reveal an actual cause-and-effect. And though health experts believe that it will take larger sample sizes to raise national concern, research already shows that people who regularly take PPIs often exceed the daily-recommended limits, unaware of the health risks associated with such common behavior.

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Other Nexium Side Effects Linked To Health Problems

In addition to dementia, studies have shown that people who regularly take PPIs may have other health risks such as:

  • Heart Attacks
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Bone Fractures
  • Severe Magnesium Deficiency
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Leg Cramps

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