Nexium and Prilosec are two drugs produced by pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca that are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). They belong to a category of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and both are available to users without a prescription.
Another similarity between the drugs is that both have been named in defective drug lawsuits alleging that they are unreasonably dangerous and that their manufacturer was negligent by failing to properly test the drugs, failing to warn consumers about the risks associated with taking these drugs, and that it actively concealed the drugs’ dangers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and misrepresented the drugs in its marketing materials.
Side Effects Associated with these Drugs
Individuals who claim they were hurt by using these drugs allege that they experienced side effects they were not warned about. These side effects include:
- Mouth dryness;
- Abdominal pain;
- Inflammation of the stomach lining; and
- Low levels of magnesium.
Certain populations who used the drug faced additional side effects. One of these was the increased risk of suffering wrist, hip, and spinal fractures in users age 50 and older. All Nexium and Prilosec users also faced a 20 to 50% higher risk of suffering chronic kidney disease than nonusers and a 20 to 30% higher risk of stroke.
Why the Manufacturer is Allegedly Negligent
The mere existence of side effects does not mean a drug’s manufacturer is liable for any patients’ damages that arise from these side effects. In many cases, a drug’s makeup makes it impossible for the drug to be both effective and free of side effects.
When a drug does have potential side effects for users, the drug’s manufacturers must clearly warn patients and the parties who may prescribe the drugs about the side effects. The manufacturer must also test the drug thoroughly to ensure that it knows about all side effects that exist, how to mitigate them, and which populations are most at risk of suffering them. This information must also be shared with the Food and Drug Administration.
With the information above, a doctor can determine whether prescribing a drug to a specific patient is the ideal solution for the patient’s condition or if another drug would be a better solution. Patients, too, can determine whether a drug’s risks outweigh its benefits. For over-the-counter drugs, patients especially need to be warned about potential side effects because their doctors cannot act as gatekeepers in this scenario.
Work with an Experienced Fox River Grove Defective Drug Lawyer
When you suffer financial damages because of a side effect you could have avoided if you knew more about the prescription drug you took, you could be entitled to recover monetary compensation for those damages through a defective drug claim. Contact our team of experienced defective drug attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP today to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Jonathan Perez)