Millions of Americans use popular heartburn medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to manage acid reflux and related health problems. Common PPIs include Nexium®, Prilosec®, and Prevacid®. While PPIs have always come with a risk of side effects, new research has shown they can also increase the risk of severe coronavirus complications. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with COVID-19 while using a PPI heartburn drug and were later admitted to the ICU, placed on a ventilator, or if your loved one died, you may be able to file a PPI lawsuit.
Starting as early as June 2020, a growing number of studies have shown that people who use heartburn medicine are at greater risk of developing serious complications from the coronavirus — including death. These studies, conducted by researchers throughout the world, note that PPIs can weaken the body’s ability to fight infections like COVID-19.
While this research continues to unfold, major companies that manufacture PPIs have a responsibility to warn consumers and the doctors prescribing the medication.
COVID-19 and Heartburn Medicine
Companies that produce heartburn medicine deserve to be held accountable for not warning people about their products’ risks during the pandemic.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with COVID-19 while using a brand-name PPI — such as AcipHex, Dexilant, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, or Zegerid — and were later admitted to the ICU, placed on a ventilator, or died, contact Sokolove Law today. You may be able to file a proton pump inhibitors lawsuit and receive financial compensation.
Sokolove Law has recovered compensation for other victims and families harmed by dangerous drugs, and our PPI attorneys are standing by to help you.
To learn whether you may be entitled to compensation, contact Sokolove Law today.
What Is a Proton Pump Inhibitor?
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are a type of heartburn medication that prevent the body from making stomach acids. They are used to address chronic health problems related to the overproduction of stomach acids, such as ulcers and acid reflux. PPIs may be prescribed by a physician or purchased over-the-counter.
- Prescription PPIs are typically used to treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach and small intestine ulcers, and inflammation of the esophagus.
- Over-the-counter PPIs are generally used to treat frequent heartburn.
PPIs are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world, with an estimated 15 million Americans using them.
How Does a Proton Pump Inhibitor Work?
PPIs interact with glands that “pump” acid into the stomach to help with digestion. They also prevent acid levels in the stomach from reaching excessive levels.
“By lowering stomach acid levels, [PPIs] reduce acid reflux into the esophagus and the resulting heartburn symptoms.”
– Harvard Medical School
Heartburn Medicine Side Effects and Coronavirus
Most medications come with side effects, and PPI heartburn medications are no exception. Notable PPI side effects include life-threatening kidney damage, osteoporosis, and dementia.
In terms of coronavirus complications, PPIs pose a risk for several reasons. PPIs reduce the amount of stomach acid in a person’s body. This may cause them to develop a condition called hypochlorhydria, which is a dangerously low level of stomach acid.
Researchers believe that lower amounts of stomach acid can allow coronavirus to survive longer and spread throughout the body, making serious complications more likely.
It is also thought that:
- Existing side effects of PPIs (like kidney and cardiovascular problems) can make COVID-19 complications worse.
- PPIs can negatively impact immune system function, making it harder for the body to fight coronavirus infections.
- Those who take PPIs two times per day may be at a higher risk of coronavirus complications than those who take the medications just once a day, according to a study released in August 2020.
List of Branded Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to COVID-19 Complications
Many well-known PPIs may cause people to develop severe cases of coronavirus.
Brand-name PPIs that may cause COVID-19 complications include:
- Nexium® and Nexium® 24HR* (esomeprazole magnesium)
- Prevacid® and Prevacid® 24HR* (lansoprazole)
- Prilosec® and Prilosec OTC®* (omeprazole)
- Protonix® (pantoprazole sodium)
- AcipHex® (rabeprazole sodium)
- Dexilant™ (dexlansoprazole)
- Zegerid® and Zegerid OTC®* (omeprazole and Sodium bicarbonate)
*Available over the counter
Sokolove Law: A Proton Pump Inhibitors Law Firm
People who used PPIs should be warned about the severe risk of infection, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, PPI manufacturers are silent, putting people in danger — and the Sokolove Law proton pump inhibitors lawyers are standing by to help.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with COVID-19 while taking a brand-name PPI and were admitted to the ICU, were on a ventilator, or died due to the diagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us right away to get a free case review. Our team will connect you with a PPI lawyer if you are eligible to file a proton pump inhibitors lawsuit.