Contact A Lawyer
Have A Potential Case Reviewed By An Attorney
A new study provides further evidence that side effects of Nexium, Prilosec and other popular heartburn drugs increase the risk of bone fractures, finding a significant increase in the risk of hip fractures among women.
U.S. researchers report that taking Nexium and other popular drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been strongly linked to an increased risk of fractures of the hip, particularly among women who smoke.
The findings were presented last month at the annual Digestive Disease Week conference in Chicago. This is the latest in a serious of independent and government studies that have linked an increased risk of bone fractures to the class of medications, which include Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, Aciphex, Vimovo and Zegerid,
The data comes from an ongoing Nurses’ Health Study, which has been looking into women’s health issues since 1976 and has about 238,000 nurse-participants.
The study began focusing on hip fractures in 1982. Researchers found that women who smoke or used to smoke and regularly took Prilosec, Nexium or some other PPI, had a 51% increased risk of suffering a hip fracture. Women who did not smoke only had a 6% increased risk when taking a PPI.
Researchers determined that the longer the duration of use, the greater the risk of a hip fracture from Nexium or the other similar drugs. They also noted a steady decline of hip fracture risk once use of PPIs were discontinued.
The findings come almost a year after the FDA issued a bone fracture warning for Nexium, Prilosec and other heartburn drugs and required new information to be added to the medication labels.
In March 2011, the FDA updated that warning, indicating that the bone fracture risk appeared to be dose-specific and limited to prescription-strength versions of the drugs.
Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix and other proton pump inhibitors pull in about $14 billion in U.S. sales each year. There were about 119 million prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors in the U.S. last year. Some medical experts estimate that as many as 69% of proton pump inhibitor prescriptions were written for “off-label” uses, which have not been approved as safe and effective by the FDA.
In recent months, a number of Nexium lawsuits have been filed by former users of the medication who have experienced fractures or other bone problems after taking the medication.