Prilosec, Nexium Lawsuit Claims AstraZeneca Failed to Warn on Fracture Risks

An Illinois woman has filed suit against AstraZeneca claiming its prescription heartburn drugs, Prilosec and <"">Nexium, caused her to suffer multiple and painful fractures of her feet. The lawsuit accuses AstraZeneca of failing to provide adequate warnings about the drugs’ risks.

Nexium and Prilosec are part of a class of heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors. These drugs work by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach, and are approved to treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach and small intestine ulcers, and inflammation of the esophagus. In addition to Nexium, prescription proton pump inhibitors are sold under the names Zegerid, Prevacid, Protonix, and Aciphex.

As we’ve reported previously, such drugs have recently been a subject of concern because of their association with broken bones. Just last March, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned that prescription versions of these drugs were associated with increased risk of fractures. In May 2010, the agency announced it would be adding information about the potential fracture risk to the label of Nexium and similar drugs. This came after a review of several epidemiological studies reported an increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine with proton pump inhibitor use. Some studies found that those at greatest risk for these fractures received high doses of proton pump inhibitors or used them for one year or more. The majority of the studies evaluated individuals 50 years of age or older and the increased risk of fracture primarily was observed in this age group, the agency said.

Since the FDA began warning consumers about the association between proton pump inhibitors and fractures, a number of lawsuits have been filed by alleged victims of the drugs. In May, 35 women filed suit against AstraZeneca over fractures they claimed were caused by Nexium. That lawsuit claimed that studies from as far back as 2006 indicated that Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors make users more vulnerable to bone loss due to their interference with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.

According to this latest lawsuit, Susan A. Poznanovich took Prilosec and Nexium between 1995 and 2010. In June 2009, she suffered multiple fractures in her right foot. In December of that same year, she suffered more fractures in her left foot. Even today, Poznanovich continues to suffer pain as a result of her fractures. According to her lawsuit, she requires ongoing medical care now and in future as a result of those injuries.

Poznanovich claims her injuries were the direct result of her use of Nexium and Prilosec. The resulting excruciating pain caused her to endure severe mental and physical pain. She also suffered from emotional distress and significant economical loss due to her medical expenses and living related costs. Poznanovich further alleges that she would never have used the medications had she known of their risks.

Poznanovich filed her lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court, Bergen County. She is represented by attorneys from the national law firm of <"">Parker Waichman Alonso LLP.

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