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Nexium, Prilosec, and PPIs Linked To Dangerous Health Risks

Newly released studies have shown dramatic new risks linked to proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) classes of medications, such as the popular prescription and over the counter medication Nexium (esomeprazole).  PPI medications are used to treat ailments caused by excessive production of stomach acid, such as acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and heartburn; as well as used as a companion medication to prevent the development of stomach ulcers in patients taking NSAID medications.  Other brand-name PPIs include Prilosec, Zegerid, Prevacid, Protonix, Vimovo and Aciphex.

Health Risks

PPI class drugs have been shown to cause magnesium and calcium deficiencies with long-term use.  Calcium deficiencies will lead to a condition called hypocalcemia, which causes bone dissolution, brittle bones (often leading to spinal injury and the inability to walk), eye damage, and abnormal heartbeat.  Other symptoms can include cognitive issues like memory loss and hallucinations, muscle spasms, numbness in the hands, feet and depression.

Magnesium deficiencies will eventually also lead to a number of serious medical issues, most notably cardiac issues such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and heart attacks.  In addition, lack of magnesium can greatly increase an individual’s chances of developing kidney stones, PMS/menstrual cramps, muscle spasms, convulsions, and some forms of cancer.

Other Issues

Other studies conducted by the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and Royal Brisbane and the Women’s Hospital in Australia have linked use of PPI class medications to a highly increased (between a 25% and 50% increased likelihood) risk of developing chronic kidney disease.  These medications have already been linked to more short term kidney problems such as acute kidney injuries and interstitial nephritis in the past, however new data is showing that these may be precursors to much more dangerous kidney problems.

In addition to the major risks that have been highlighted by recent studies, Nexium and similar medications have been reported to cause, or possibly have caused, a long list of other medical issues, including: edema, tachycardia, goiters, ulcerative stomatitis, anemia, fibromyalgia, tremor, vertigo, higher rates of bacterial infection, vitamin B12 deficiencies, and a variety of other problems.

Overprescription

Around 120 million prescriptions costing roughly $14 billion were written for PPI class medications such as Nexium and Prilosec last year, an estimated 69% of which were for “off-label” uses—uses that have not been approved by the FDA as safe and effective.  Except for Prilosec, PPI class drugs have not been approved for treatment of several conditions that they have been popularly used for, such as indigestion and heartburn.  Generally, the FDA only approves them for treating ulcers, acid reflux disease, and erosive esophagitis, and while they function in a way that makes them potentially useful for other conditions, there has not been enough research done into if they are safe and effective for these uses for the government to approve it.

Consult A Dangerous Drug Attorney Today

If you have been taking Nexium, Prilosec, or other PPI classes of medications and feel that you may have developed any of these issues as a result, Alan Goldfarb, P.A. is here to help.  Our firm has been helping Florida residents recover from injuries since our inception.  Contact a member of our experienced legal team either by telephone at 305-371-3111 or online today to discuss your options.

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