According to an August 2016 article in the medical journal Hepatology, liver cirrhosis patients who use Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) drugs are at greater risk of:
- an accumulation of abdominal fluid (ascites), and
- a serious brain injury called hepatic encephalopathy (HE)
Liver cirrhosis is the result of different diseases of a person’s liver due to long term liver damage. The liver of someone with cirrhosis does not work or function as it should. Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a loss of brain function experienced by many people with cirrhosis. Hepatic encephalopathy sufferers may have symptoms that include:
- changes in personality
- a reduced quality of life
- a reduced level of consciousness, and
- a reduction in mental or intellectual abilities
Hepatic encephalopathy is the second most frequent cause of hospital admissions for cirrhosis patients. HE also reduces a cirrhosis patient’s chances of survival. This is a particularly serious problem, since an estimated 46 to 78 percent of cirrhosis patients use Proton Pump Inhibitor medications.
The Connection between PPIs and Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE)
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are medicines that lower the amount of acid in a person’s stomach. People take PPIs for stomach upset, GERD (acid reflux), ulcers, and other stomach problems.
Some of the most common Proton Pump Inhibitor medications used by millions of Americans on a regular basis include:
Proton Pump Inhibitors reduce stomach acid by inhibiting or blocking the production of acid by an enzyme system called a proton pump. Scientists believe that this action may cause gut bacteria to move from a PPI user’s stomach to the person’s lymph system and blood stream. This, in turn, may cause the patient to develop hepatic encephalopathy. It may also lead to spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in the same patient.
This increased risk of hepatic encephalopathy is just the latest in health risks linked to Proton Pump Inhibitor use. PPIs are also associated with kidney damage even in people who use these drugs for limited periods of time.
Feldman & Pinto’s Philadelphia Drug Injury Lawyers bring actions against manufacturers of PPIs on behalf of consumers injured by these dangerous drugs.
Contact our Philadelphia Drug Injury Lawyers
The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Feldman & Pinto have fought for the rights of people injured by dangerous and toxic drugs since 1994. If you or one of your family members was injured in this manner, please contact Feldman & Pinto to schedule a free evaluation of your case.