PPI Acid Reflux drugs cause C.diff,
magnesium loss & bone fractures
Warning Update: According to a study by Johns Hopkins University researchers, heartburn medication has also been linked to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The research raises serious questions about commonly used acid reflux drugs such as Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Stanford University researchers also revealed evidence linking acid reflux medications to a greater risk of heart attacks.
Prior studies have linked these acid reflux medications to bone fractures, gut infections, dementia, pneumonia, magnesium loss and various health problems.
Possible Increased Risk of Bone Fractures With Certain Antacid Drugs
There is a possible increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine if you take certain drugs for heartburn, acid reflux, or ulcers, warns the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The drugs belong to a class of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which work by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. They are available both as prescription and as over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
The prescription PPIs treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers in the stomach and small intestine, and inflammation of the esophagus. The PPIs available over-the-counter are used to treat frequent heartburn.
The prescription PPIs are:
The over-the-counter PPIs are:
FDA Drug Safety Communication:
Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea can be associated with
stomach acid drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
Patients should immediately contact their healthcare professional and seek care if they take PPIs and develop diarrhea that does not improve.
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile, aka: C.diff) is a bacterium that can cause diarrhea that does not improve. Symptoms include watery stool, abdominal pain, and fever, and patients may go on to develop more serious intestinal conditions. The disease can also be spread in the hospital. Factors that may predispose an individual to developing CDAD include advanced age, certain chronic medical conditions, and taking broad spectrum antibiotics. Treatment for CDAD includes the replacement of fluids and electrolytes and the use of special antibiotics.
FDA is also reviewing the risk of CDAD in users of histamine H2 receptor blockers. H2 receptor blockers are used to treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach and small intestine ulcers, and heartburn. H2 receptor blockers are marketed under various brand and generic drug names (see Tables 3 and 4) as prescription and OTC products.
Table 1: Prescription Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Drugs
Table 2: Over-the-Counter (OTC) Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Drugs
Table 3: Prescription H2 Receptor Blocker Drugs
Table 4: Over-the-Counter (OTC) H2 Receptor Blocker Drugs
FDA Drug Safety Communication:
Low magnesium levels can be associated with long-term use
of Proton Pump Inhibitor drugs (PPIs)
PPIs work by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach and are used to treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach and small intestine ulcers, and inflammation of the esophagus. In 2009, approximately 21 million patients filled PPI prescriptions at outpatient retail pharmacies in the United States.
Prescription PPIs include Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium), Dexilant (dexlansoprazole), Prilosec omeprazole), Zegerid (omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate), Prevacid (lansoprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole sodium), and AcipHex (rabeprazole sodium). Vimovo is a prescription combination drug product that contains a PPI (esomeprazole magnesium and naproxen).
Over-the-counter (OTC) PPIs include Prilosec OTC (omeprazole), Zegerid OTC (omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate), and Prevacid 24HR (lansoprazole). OTC PPIs are marketed at low doses and are only intended for a 14 day course of treatment up to 3 times per year. Low serum magnesium levels can result in serious adverse events including muscle spasm (tetany), irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias), and convulsions (seizures).
Healthcare professionals should consider obtaining serum magnesium levels prior to initiation of prescription PPI treatment in patients... who take PPIs with medications such as digoxin, diuretics or drugs that may cause hypomagnesemia.