What is Vimovo?
Vimovo is a combination drug used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis when there is a high risk for stomach bleeding/ulcer. It contains naproxen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and esomeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication that helps prevent ulcers by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach.
Which Other Drugs are PPIs?
In addition to Vimovo, other medications in the proton pump inhibitor class include:
- Nexium (esomeprazole)
- Protonix (pantoprazole)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Zegerid (omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate)
- Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)
- Prilosec (omeprazole)
- Aciphex (rabeprazole)
What Side Effects Has Vimovo Been Linked To?
Unfortunately, the esomeprazole contained in Vimovo has 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)
- Gut infections
- Clostridium difficile infection
- Community-acquired pneumonia
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Severe allergic reactions
Are There Other Side Effects?
Vimovo may also cause the following less severe side effects in certain users:
- Upset stomach
- Stomach pain
Has the FDA Warned About Vimovo Side Effects?
In December 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) changed Vimovo labels to include a warning about acute interstitial nephritis.
How Can Vimovo Cause Kidney Damage?
Although it is still not fully understood how proton pump inhibitors affect the kidneys, it is suspected that the drugs may hinder the body’s ability to absorb calcium, magnesium and other important nutrients. Patients who use PPIs for an extended period of time (typically 1 year or more) may face an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease, acute interstitial nephritis and renal failure.
Have Studies Been Conducted?
Proton pump inhibitors have been linked to kidney problems in the following studies:
- An April 2015 study published in CMAJ Open found a tripled risk of acute interstitial nephritis and a 2.4-fold increased risk of kidney injury associated with PPI use.
- JAMA Internal Medicine published a study in February 2016 which found that proton pump inhibitor users were 20-50% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease (CKD).
- In April 2016, a study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) found that long-term PPI use increased the risk of CKD and kidney failure by 28% compared to H2 receptor blocker heartburn medications.
What are the Warning Signs of Vimovo Kidney Disease?
Chronic kidney disease produces few if any recognizable symptoms in its early stages. However, when symptoms do present, they may include:
- Increased blood pressure (hypertension)
- Sleeping problems
- Feet / ankle swelling
- Forgetfulness / trouble concentrating
- Nausea / vomiting
- Decreased appetite / unintentional weight loss
- Muscle twitching / cramps
- Itching of the skin
Is There a Class Action?
To date, no class action lawsuit has been filed in the Vimovo litigation; however, our lawyers are accepting potential individual lawsuits on behalf of patients who suffered kidney damage after taking the drug. The problem with class actions is that they are not designed to maximize the payout for individual plaintiffs with the most severe injuries. Class action members are often forced to accept “low-ball” settlements or higher attorneys’ fees. This is why we focus or efforts on helping victims of defective drugs seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Have There Been Any Settlements?
The first Vimovo lawsuits have only recently been filed, and the proceedings are still in their early stages. It will likely be some time before the manufacturer considers offering settlements. However, while there have been no reports of any Vimovo settlements or resolutions in the litigation, our lawyers feel that the manufacturer will ultimately be required to pay substantial compensation to patients who suffered kidney damage after taking the drug.
What are Vimovo Lawsuits Alleging?
Lawsuits filed over injuries allegedly caused by proton pump inhibitors like Vimovo have accused manufacturers of:
- Manufacturing a dangerous and/or defective drug
- Failing to adequately warn of the drug’s risks
- Knowingly hiding dangers of the medication from the public and medical communities
- Marketing the drugs in an illegal or improper manner