Lawsuits are being filed alleging that drug manufacturers intentionally withheld information from consumers and the medical community about the risks of kidney injury associated with certain proton pump inhibitor (PPI) heartburn medications.  If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with acute interstitial nephritis, kidney disease, chronic kidney failure, esophageal cancer, or death, you may be eligible for compensation from the drug manufacturer.

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July 2016 — A Tennessee man has filed a federal lawsuit blaming his diagnosis of interstitial nephritis on the popular heartburn drug, Nexium.  Charles Bowers, plaintiff, says he began regular use of the drug in July 2003 and continued until May 2008 until the time he was diagnosed with the chronic disease. Bowers is currently undergoing dialysis treatment three times a week while awaiting a kidney transplant.

AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of the drug, has been accused of downplaying the risk of nephritis as well as other long-term kidney-related side effects.  Nexium was first linked to nephritis in 2004, yet the label was not changed indicating the potential danger until 2014.

Read the filing in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee — Case No. 2:16-cv-02549 here.


April 2016 — A study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology compared the risk of kidney injury from PPIs to the risk of kidney injury from a different class of heartburn drugs called H₂ blockers, or histamine H2-receptor antagonists.

According to the results of the study, there’s a suggestion that PPI exposure is linked with an increased risk of incident CKD, CKD progression, and ERSD.

  • For five years, researchers monitored the renal health of 173,321 people who took PPI heartburn drugs like Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Dexilant, Protronix, Aciphex, Zegerid, and Kapidex and 20,270 people who took H₂ blockers like Zantac and Pepcid.
  • After five years, researchers determined that people who used PPI heartburn drugs maybe 96% more likely to develop kidney failure and 28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease than people who used H₂ blockers.
  • Over the course of five years, 15% of people using PPIs developed chronic kidney disease.


The use of PPI heartburn drugs is associated with acute interstitial nephritis (AIN), chronic kidney disease (CKD), and end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Acute interstitial nephritis causes the spaces between the tubules of the kidney to become swollen and inflamed. Sudden AIN impairs the kidney tubules’ absorption of water and beneficial substances from the blood, as well as the secretion of waste into urine.

Chronic kidney disease is a condition characterized by the kidneys’ failure to properly filter the blood. During CKD, kidneys gradually lose function, resulting in the build-up of dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes, and waste.

Chronic kidney disease may ultimately lead to end-stage renal disease and kidney failure, both fatal if not treated by regular dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Though the medical community is unsure how PPI drugs damage the kidneys, CBS News report theories that the decline of magnesium caused by PPI drugs as well as inflammation in the kidney may lead to AIN.


The symptoms can appear with a few days but usually take several weeks after initial exposure to Nexium, or other PPI drugs.

  • Enlarged Kidneys
  • Blood in Urine
  • Fever
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Increased or Decreased Urine Output
  • Changes in Mental Status (confusion, coma, etc.)
  • Fatigue
  • Rash
  • Swelling of the Body, any area
  • Weight Gain (from retaining fluid)


Sanders Phillips Grossman is currently accepting cases from people across the United States and Puerto Rico who have been harmed by PPI drugs.  If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with certain kidney-related side effects or esophageal cancer, you may be eligible for compensation.  A successful outcome on your claim could entitle you to damages for medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to pursue claims for kidney infections, kidney stones, bladder infections, trouble swallowing, or Barrett’s Esophagus.


We represent our clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay no attorney fees until we win your claim. If we are unable to successfully resolve your claim, you are not obligated to pay attorneys’ fees.


Sanders Phillips Grossman has been holding pharmaceutical companies responsible for injuring individuals by their defective drugs and devices for over 30 years. Defective drugs are pharmaceuticals with side effects that potentially harm, injure, or kill the patient to the point that they outweigh the drug’s intended benefits. Defective devices, such as faulty prosthetics, implants, pacemakers, or surgical instruments can harm patients when the product is defective in the manufacturing process, design, or marketing strategy.

Pharmaceutical companies are some of the largest, wealthiest, and most influential corporate entities in the world. Sanders Phillips Grossman and its predecessors have recovered over one billion dollars for injured consumers. Our firm’s history in dealing with drug and medical device injury claims has allowed us to take leadership roles in many of the national defective drug and device litigations.

Nationally recognized as a leading plaintiff’s law firm, we handle cases in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

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