Prilosec is available over the counter, but it’s still one of the most commonly prescribed proton pump inhibitors for patients with heartburn, GERD, or acid reflux. It’s even prescribed by doctors if they think that their patients may experience heartburn or acid reflux because they’re taking another medication. How do you know if Prilosec is safe? Should you continue to take it? Has it hurt patients?
Is It Safe?
Prilosec, also sold as omeprazole, is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). Many people think that taking Prilosec is safe. After all, it’s used to treat heartburn. Yet, there are some serious side effects associated with its use. For example, patients are encouraged to tell their doctor or pharmacist if they have a history of liver disease or lupus. Prilosec has also been associated with:
- Trouble swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting
- An increased risk of bone loss or fracture
- Low magnesium
- Inflammatory kidney disease
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Severe diarrhea caused by an intestinal infection
- Development of cutaneous and systemic lupus
- Adverse respiratory events in children
There are several studies that were published between 2015 and 2017 that highlighted the precarious risks caused by Prilosec. Many focused on the development of chronic kidney disease, sudden kidney failure, stroke, and dementia. These serious, life-altering medical events can cause a need for a lifetime of medical and specialized care. The first study linking PPIs to kidney injuries was published by the American Journal of Medicine. It was published in 1992.
Should You Continue to Take Prilosec?
With the risks associated with Prilosec, should you continue to take it? Ultimately, that’s a decision that you and your doctor must make. However, it’s important to point out that in patients who took Prilosec because heartburn was a side effect of another medication face an additional risk. Prilosec was never meant for long-term use. Often, patients who stop taking it will then experience heartburn or acid reflux even if they never dealt with the issue in the past. This is because many of the stomach’s acid pumps then go into overdrive and produce more acid.
For older patients, it’s important to not just consider the risks associated with the kidneys (although that’s extremely important). Many older patients already have less energy and some loss of bone density. The risk of B-12 deficiency and an increased risk of bone fractures (particularly of the hip, wrist, and spine) can be absolutely devastating.
Has Prilosec Hurt Patients?
Sadly, yes. Prilosec has caused serious injuries to patients. As a result, injured patients filed lawsuits against the manufacturer to get compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Currently, there are more than 4,000 lawsuits filed.
If you or someone you love experienced kidney failure, stroke, dementia, broken bones, loss of magnesium, vitamin B-12 deficiency, kidney disease, or any of the other serious medical conditions linked to Prilosec, contact Goldwater Law right now. You’re eligible for a free case consultation. We’ll help you determine if you have a potential legal claim. If you do, we’ll help you understand your options. Don’t wait. Call us now.