Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, are a type of heartburn medication that reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach. Although they are effective in treating heartburn, symptoms of acid reflux, and ulcers, they can cause a range of very serious side effects and permanent harm. The danger increases with long-term use. Stopping PPI use can be difficult due to rebound symptoms. Since PPIs are available over-the-counter (OTC), consumers tend to assume they are safe. PPIs are also available in prescription form.
Dangers of PPIs
You may have heard of some of the risks associated with PPI use, but you may not be aware of the many types of damage they can cause including:
- Malabsorption causing deficiencies in nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and B12
- Bone fractures
- Kidney damage
- Stomach cancer
- Heart attack
- Clostridium difficile infection
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises patients to limit PPI use to no more than three two-week courses in a year, unless directed otherwise by their doctors. The risks associated with PPIs increase with long-term use.
Is Your Medication a PPI?
If you are taking a prescription or OTC drug to treat heartburn, acid reflux or ulcers, don’t panic. PPIs are not the only type of medication used for these conditions. H2 inhibitors are another type and have not been shown to carry the same risks as PPIs.
PPI drugs include:
- Prilosec (omeprazole)
- Nexium (esomeprazole)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Aciphex (rabeprazole)
- Dexilent (dexlansoprazole)
- Kapidex (dexlansoprazole)
- Protonix (pantoprazole)
- Vimovo (naproxen and esomeprazole magnesium)
- Zegerid (omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate)
If you believe that a PPI or another dangerous medication caused your injuries or the death of a loved one, please talk to an experienced defective drug attorney right away to learn more about your rights.