What is Aciphex?
Aciphex (generic: rabeprazole) belongs to a class of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPI) that work by blocking the production of acid in the stomach. The drug is used to treat conditions such as heartburn, ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. Aciphex is made by Eisai Inc., and was first approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2002.
Which Medications are Proton Pump Inhibitors?
In addition to Aciphex, other heartburn drugs in the PPI class include:
- Nexium (esomeprazole)
- Protonix (pantoprazole)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Zegerid (omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate)
- Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)
- Prilosec (omeprazole)
- Vimovo (esomeprazole and naproxen)
Which Side Effects Have Been Linked to Aciphex?
Proton pump inhibitors like Aciphex have been linked to the following serious side effects:
- Acute interstitial nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys)
- Acute kidney injury
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
- Kidney failure (end-stage renal disease or ERSD)
- Cardiac disorders
- Heart attack
- Bone fractures (hip fracture, wrist fracture, spine fracture)
- Broken bones
- Low magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia)
- Rebound Acid Hypersecretion (RAHS)
- Gut infections
- Clostridium difficile infection
- Community-acquired pneumonia
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Severe allergic reactions
- And more
How Can Aciphex Cause Kidney Damage?
Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors like Aciphex may affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium, magnesium, and other important nutrients. People who take these drugs for a long time (1 year or more) may face an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), acute interstitial nephritis (AIN), kidney failure (end-stage renal disease or ESRD) and other serious side effects.
What is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Multiple studies have found a link between long-term PPI use and chronic kidney disease (CKD), a condition characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function over time. Most people with CKD do not have any severe symptoms until the disease is in its advanced stages. When they do present, however, symptoms of chronic kidney disease may include:
- Fatigue / less energy
- Trouble concentrating
- Poor appetite
- Trouble sleeping / insomnia
- Muscle cramping (especially at night)
- Swollen feet / ankles
- Puffiness around the eyes (especially in the morning)
- Dry, itchy skin
- Need to urinate more often, especially at night
What is Acute Interstitial Nephritis?
Acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) is a rare but important cause of kidney failure, and PPI heartburn drugs like Aciphex are thought to be a leading cause of the condition. There have only been a handful of cases of nephritis specifically linked to Aciphex in the medical literature; however, hundreds of cases of AIN have been associated with the proton pump inhibitor class of drugs, and many cases likely go unreported due to the generalized symptoms it often causes.
Signs and symptoms of acute interstitial nephritis may include:
- Blood in the urine
- Increased or decreased urine output
- Mental status changes (drowsiness, confusion, coma)
- Swelling of the body
- Weight gain
Has the FDA Issued a Warning on Aciphex?
In May 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) updated the labeling of proton pump inhibitors to include a warning about an increased risk of bone fractures. The warning followed results of epidemiological studies which found an increased risk of bone fractures in patients (mostly aged 50 or over) who used PPIs for one year or more.
FDA again updated Aciphex warning labels in December 2014, this time with information about an increased risk of acute interstitial nephritis. The agency said AIN is a hypersensitivity reaction that can occur at any time during treatment with Aciphex.
What Should I Do if I’m Taking Aciphex?
If you’re currently taking Aciphex and are concerned about its potential side effects, you should consult your doctor immediately to discuss other possible treatment options. However, you should never switch or quit taking a prescription medication without talking to your doctor first.
Has Aciphex Been Recalled?
Despite being linked to kidney damage and other serious side effects, neither Aciphex nor any other heartburn medication from the proton pump inhibitor class has been recalled in the U.S. However, the investigation into the health risks posed by these drugs is still in its early stages, and it often takes many years and thousands of hours of research before all the facts are gathered that may ultimately lead to a recall of Aciphex or other PPIs.
Is There a Class Action?
Our law firm is nationally recognized for filing class action lawsuits; however, our lawyers are not filing a class action lawsuit in the Aciphex litigation. Instead, we are filing individual lawsuits and only accepting cases involving kidney damage. If you decide to file a complaint against the manufacturer of Aciphex, you may be able to receive compensation to assist with medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
What are Aciphex Lawsuits Alleging?
Aciphex lawsuits may allege that the manufacturer:
- Manufactured a dangerous and/or defective drug
- Neglected to properly warn of the medication’s risks
- Knowingly hid the dangers of Aciphex from doctors and the public
- Marketed Aciphex in an illegal or improper manner
Have There Been Any Settlements?
The Aciphex litigation is still in its early stages, and there have been no significant settlements over injuries allegedly caused by the drug.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Lawsuit?
Each state has its own specific statute of limitations (SOL) regarding how long a person has to file a lawsuit alleging injuries from a defective drug or medical device. If you feel you’ve been injured, you should contact our lawyers to learn more about your legal rights. Waiting could jeopardize your ability to file a claim, and make it impossible for you to recover compensation for your injuries.
How Much Does it Cost to File a Claim?
Absolutely nothing. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are no fees to you unless we achieve a favorable outcome in your case. Contact us today to learn more.
What Damages Could I Recover?
If you developed a serious kidney injury after taking Aciphex, you may be entitled to compensation to assist with medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. You may also be awarded punitive damages if the manufacturer’s behavior is found to be especially harmful.