Contact Us

Defective Drugs
*    Denotes required field.

   * First Name 

   * Last Name 

   * Email 

Phone 

Cell Phone 

Street Address 

Zip Code 

City 

State 

   * Name of drug: 

Date you started taking this drug:

Date you stopped taking this drug:

Please describe side effects:

For verification purposes, please answer the below question:
+
=

No Yes, I agree to the Parker Waichman LLP disclaimers. Click here to review.

Yes, I would like to receive the Parker Waichman LLP monthly newsletter, InjuryAlert.

please do not fill out the field below.


Long-Term Use of PPIs May Lead to Dependency

Jul 7, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Protonix and other stomach acid reducers that belong to a  class of drugs known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) could lead to dependency if taken at prescription strength over an extended period of time, new research suggests.  According to a report on Medicinenet.com, researchers at Copenhagen University have found that healthy adults without symptoms of acid reflux who took PPIs developed symptoms of the disorder when they stopped taking them after 8 weeks.

The study, which was published in the journal Gastroenterology, involved 120 healthy adults.  According to Medicinenet.com, half of the subjects took 40 milligram doses of Nexium for 8 weeks, and a placebo for the final four weeks of the trial.  The other half took a placebo for the entire 12 weeks.

At the beginning of the trial, participants in both groups reported similar gastrointestinal  symptoms.  But in weeks 9 through 12, 44% of those who had been taking Nexium reported increased symptoms, while in the placebo-only group, only 15% reported increased symptoms. By the end of the 12 week trial, despite being off Nexium for four weeks, 22% of those in that group still reported symptoms, while less than 2% in the placebo only group were reporting similar symptoms.

According to the researchers, all study participants did report that symptoms had stopped three months after Nexium treatment had ended.

According to Medicinenet.com, the researchers theorized that this "rebound"  effect was likely a response to the acid suppression caused by Nexium that  resulted in an overproduction of the stomach acid-stimulating hormone gastrin.    The effect  likely lasts between four weeks and three months, they said.  

Despite this effect, the researchers said that the benefits of PPIs outweigh the risks for those who need them.  However, according to Medicinenet.com, they expressed concern that the drugs are being overprescribed, and said doctors need to be more selective about how PPIs are prescribed.

PPIs are taken by millions of people - according to Medicinenet.com, it is estimated that 5% of adults in developed countries take the acid-reducing drugs.   But PPIs have been the subject of safety concerns.  As we've reported previously, a recent Canadian study of PPIs and osteoporosis-related fractures revealed a link between long-term PPI use and increased risk for hip, wrist, or spine fractures. We also reported in May  that Plavix  users were warned by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) to avoid PPIs following stent implantation because the combination increases the risks for heart attack (by 70 percent), stroke (48 percent), and other cardiovascular problems (repeat heart procedures by 35 percent).  And most recently, we reported on a Canadian study that found a connection between  routine prescription of PPIs during hospitalizations and  an increased risk—30 percent—of acquiring pneumonia.


Other articles
Parker Waichman Accolades And Reviews Best Lawyers Find Us On Avvo