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December 16, 2020

New Study Links Nexium and Similar Heartburn Drugs to Fatal Skin Reactions

PPI Heartburn Drugs Linked to Adverse Skin Reactions, Among Other Injuries

Proton Pump inhibitors (PPI) drugs like Nexium and Prilosec have been at the heart of a number of lawsuits for dangerous side effects, including kidney and heart problems. Now, a new study adds to the growing list of risks by indicating PPI heartburn medications may increase users’ risk of fatal skin reactions.  

According to a study recently published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, a team of Lebanese researchers indicated that PPI drugs could cause immediate or delayed dermatological adverse reactions. Problems were observed in some of the top PPI drug brands on the U.S. market including Prevacid, Nexium, Priolosec, and Zegerid, among others.

In the study, researchers studied data from 56 case reports, case series, and review articles of adverse skin reactions linked to PPI drug use. From their review, researchers found a high rate of IgE-medicated allergic reactions. These cause harmful immune system reactions from all PPI heartburn medications. Along with this discovery, the team from the Saint Georges Hospital University Medical Center in Beirut discovered delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions. These kinds of reactions can be lethal.

“PPI‐induced adverse skin reactions are mostly immunological and include both immediate and delayed‐type hypersensitivity reactions,” the researchers indicate in their study. “These reactions are sometimes life‐threatening.”

The researchers concluded PPI medications should be considered as a reason “when considering a patient with a cutaneous drug reaction.”

The Beirut team’s findings add to mounting concerns about PPI heartburn drug’s adverse side effects. In recent years, health officials found PPI medications like Nexium, Protonix, and Prilosec increase users’ risk of kidney injury, kidney failure, bone fractures, and heart damage.

Manufacturers of PPI face over 15,000 PPI heartburn drug lawsuits in the U.S. federal courts. Each of these lawsuits raises similar claims that manufacturers withheld information about the risk of kidney injury for years, placing company profits over consumer health and safety. Given the common questions of fact and law raised in these complaints, all federal PPI lawsuits have been centralized as part of a multidistrict litigation for pretrial proceedings.

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