Alternatives to Nexium, Prilosec and Other Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) May Have Allowed Individuals to Avoid Kidney Side Effects

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted September 15, 2016


October 2023 Update: Following an October 2023 PPI heartburn drug lawsuit settlement, Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. is no longer reviewing new potential cases. The information on this page is for informational purposes only.

Recent research suggests that millions of heartburn sufferers may have unnecessarily exposed themselves to serious kidney side effects from proton pump inhibitors (PPI), even though safer alternatives to Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, Prevacid, Dexilant and other similar drugs were available that do not carry the same risks.

Nexium Prilosec PrevacidThe lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. previously pursued Nexium lawsuits, Prilosec lawsuits, Protonix lawsuits, Prevacid lawsuits, Dexilant lawsuits and other claims for users of PPI medications who were diagnosed with:

  • Acute Interstitial Nephritis
  • Acute Kidney Injury
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Kidney Failure

As a result of the drug makers’ alleged failure to adequately warn about the kidney side effects, consumers and the medical community have been misled to believe that the medications are safe and carry few adverse risks, often staying on the drugs for long periods of time without any effort to reduce use or eliminate the need for the medications.

If warnings had been provided, Nexium alternatives may have been used to address the heartburn or acid reflux condition, without exposing individuals to a risk of life-changing kidney problems.

Nexium Alternatives

Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors are used by more than 15 million Americans each year, generating more than $10 billion in sales in 2013 alone. However, a number of studies have linked the drugs to an increased risk of kidney injury, kidney disease and kidney failure. Individuals who experienced these problems never would have agreed to take the drugs if they had known about the risks, since safer alternatives were available.

Another class of heartburn drugs, known as histamine H2 receptor agonists, or H2 blockers, have been marketed for decades to treat symptoms of heartburn, yet they do not carry the same kidney risks. This class includes medications like:

  • Zantac
  • Pepcid
  • Tagamet
  • Tazac
  • Axid
  • and Others

These drugs were first introduced in the 1960s, working to prevent the production of stomach acid. Although the medications address symptoms faster and provide a safer alternative to Nexium, Prilosec and other PPIs, sales of H2 blockers plummeted amid aggressive marketing by PPI drug makers in recent years.

In addition to H2 blockers, over-the-counter calcium carbonate remedy tablets may have been able to address symptoms and problems of many heart burn sufferers who have been taking Nexium or Prilosec for years. First introduced in the 1930s, these products include antacids like:

  • Maalox
  • Rolaids
  • Tums
  • Mylanta
  • and Other Antacids

Many individuals also may have been able to address heartburn symptoms through life-style changes, without using prescription treatments like Nexium and Prilosec, if they had known the risks. Alternative life-style recommendations to improve heartburn symptoms often include:

  • Avoiding meals within 2-3 hours of going to bed
  • Reduce size of meals to avoid overeating
  • Slowing down when eating
  • Staying away from heartburn trigger foods
  • Quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol
  • Elevating the head of your bed while sleeping
  • and other life-style changes

Kidney Side Effect Lawsuits

The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. previously reviewed potential lawsuits for individuals who suffered kidney damage, kidney disease or kidney failure, which may have been avoided if alternatives to Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, Prevacid, Dexilant or other PPIs had been considered.

New proton pump inhibitor (PPI) cases are no longer being investigated by Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. The content on this page is for informational purposes only.


6 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • John says:

    Have been taking 20 mg of OTC Nexium twice a day for serious GERD resulting in Barretts. It worked. Now I have degenerative spine disease. Last week my Primary Care Physician told me to stop taking Nexium and take Pepcid instead. Spine Docs thought I might have an infection but cultures were all negative. Gastroenterologist was happy that my Barretts hadn’t progressed from taking Nexium every day.

    Posted on June 19, 2019 at 7:05 am

  • Rachel says:

    I have been taking Inexium (Nexium) for years. Recently it became obvious that it was doing harm, (coloured urine) it was stopped an Ogastoro prescribed instead. Same result. I bought gaviscon an whereas it works it prevents one drinking enough water as any liquid breaks the gaviscon barrier. What can be safely used to treat acid reflux?

    Posted on June 4, 2021 at 10:00 am

  • Sandy says:

    I have been using Nexium for so long for Gerds. Have tried Pepcid but it doesn’t work as well. Now I have been diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease so nexium is definitely out of the picture.

    Posted on June 9, 2022 at 11:14 am

  • Charlotte says:

    I have been taking famotidine and nexium for over 10 years and i have developed CKD in the last 2-3 years. I am still taking nexium every morning(40 mg.), and 20mgs of famotidine at night.

    Posted on November 25, 2023 at 10:12 pm

  • Nadine says:

    I been on nexium for over 10 years,I would take this medication by a script from a doctor. I have barrett’s esophagus I would take 40mg 2 times aday.I have deep pains in my kidneys on and off for over a year now,plus this medication caused vitamin problems. I had to get a blood transfusion like 4 years ago.Now I am getting to get another one done so the doctors told me to get off of this medication because Iam anemia because of this medication. Plus they want me to get my kidneys checked if they come back with something wrong and nexium caused it they will be sued. I had brain aneurysm that burst and after I came home from the hospital I woke up one day and my hands were crippled and shaking, I went to the hospital and they said the nexium that I been on for years caused all my vitamins to go way down. So I need to get help to maybe have them be responsible for the damage this drug did to me.

    Posted on December 5, 2023 at 1:53 am

  • Sharon says:

    Does Nexium (esomeprazole) cause liver disease.? My doctor asked me what i was taking because she noticed problems with my bloodwork on my oncology visit. I have been taking Nexium or generic for several years now due to hiatal hernia after I was pregnant in 1999. I was told would need to take for rest of my life and I have a lot of pain when I don’t take it so I have been continually using it. Since I take it over the counter I may have forgot to mention to my oncology doctor I’m taking it so she hasn’t told me to stop. I started reading this info about effects of it so I’ll pr3look for something different to take. Should I pursue anything as far as a law suit as well?

    Posted on March 18, 2024 at 8:42 pm

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