Risk of Stroke With Nexium, Prilosec, Other Heart Burn Drugs Seen in Study

The findings of new research raise additional concerns about the potential side effects of Nexium, Prilosec and other heart burn drugs, suggesting that certain users of the popular medications may face an increased risk of stroke. 

According to preliminary findings of a study presented this week at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016, researchers from the Danish Heart Foundation indicate that the overall stroke risk with Nexium, Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors (PPI) increased 21%, especially among users of higher doses, which is a strong indicators that the drugs are likely causing the strokes.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of heartburn medications used by millions of Americans, including blockbuster brands like Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Dexilant, AcipHex and others, many of which have over-the-counter versions available without a prescription.

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Although most users assume the drugs carry few serious side effects, often continuing to use Nexium or other PPIs for years, without any attempt to discontinue the drugs, the medications have been linked to a number of possible health risks in recent years, including heart attacks, dementia, kidney disease and kidney failure. However, some experts suggest that the link between Nexium and strokes may be most worrying, if confirmed.

“At one time, PPIs were thought to be safe, without major side effects,” Dr. Thomas Sehested, the study’s lead author, said in an American Heart Association press release. “This study further questions the cardiovascular safety of these drugs.”

The study, which has not yet been completed or peer-reviewed, looked at the records of nearly 250,000 Danish patients, with an average age of 57, who underwent an endoscopy procedure to seek out causes of stomach problems. Nearly 9,500 of those patients suffered an ischemic stroke during the six year follow up period of the study. The researchers looked to see which of those patients were taking either Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, or Prevacid.

Researchers found that the overall stroke risk with Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix and Prevacid increased by 21% for patients taking the drugs. The risk increased at higher doses for some, with high doses of Prevacid increasing the risk of stroke to 30%, and high doses of Protonix carrying the most risk of stroke with a 94% increased risk.

The study also looked at another class of heartburn drugs, known as H2 blockers, which includes Pepcid and Zantac. However, no increased risk of stroke was seen with those other drugs.

The researchers said their findings should inspire doctors to be more cautious in prescribing PPIs, and suggested that they should carefully consider if a PPI prescription is necessary and for how long to keep the patient on the drugs.

Other Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, and Protonix Health Risks

Over the past year, a growing number of Nexium lawsuits, Prilosec lawsuits,Prevacid lawsuits, Protonix lawsuits, Dexilant lawsuits and other claims have been brought against the makers of proton pump inhibitors, alleging that users and the medical community were not adequately warned about the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.

The litigation has emerged over the past year, after a series of independent studies suggested there is a link between Nexium and kidney risks, including acute interstitial nephritis, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney failure. This has raised questions in recent months about whether the drugs may be overused.

Earlier this year, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine also found an increased risk of chronic kidney disease with the heartburn medications, indicating that users of Nexium, Prilosec and other PPI may be 50% more likely when compared to non-users.

In 2014, a study published by researchers from the University of Findlay College of Pharmacy noted that not only was overuse and abuse of heartburn drugs widespread, but many who take the drugs do so for longer than four years. The study noted that this increases the risk of any side effects associated with the drugs, but it also has a large economic impact as well.

Plaintiffs claim that drug makers placed their desire for profits before consumers safety by withholding important safety information, alleging that if warnings had been provided about the risk of acute interstitial nephritis, kidney injury, kidney disease and kidney failure, many individuals may have been able to avoid these severe and potentially life-threatening injuries.

Given the large number of users throughout the United States, it is expected that thousands of cases may be filed in the coming months as heartburn drug injury lawyers continue to review and file cases.

4 Comments

  • MaySeptember 9, 2017 at 2:28 am

    I had 2 TIA the frost one was in may of 2016 and A Nother one in June 2017 I have been on 40 mg for many of years on omeprazole I was taking 20 mg a.m. 20 mg p.m. They know no reason why but now that I have seen this I wonder if it is the med

  • PaulMay 7, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I have been taking Prilosec but the genetic form which is omprazole 40mg twice a day for many years. I been in and out emergency for shortness of breathe, chest pain . Doctors have done all tests and found anything , but I was at work ,I was ready to passed out, numbness in my legs and arms , blood pressure went up, confused and did not make sense at all. I have acid flex and gastritis condition[Show More]I have been taking Prilosec but the genetic form which is omprazole 40mg twice a day for many years. I been in and out emergency for shortness of breathe, chest pain . Doctors have done all tests and found anything , but I was at work ,I was ready to passed out, numbness in my legs and arms , blood pressure went up, confused and did not make sense at all. I have acid flex and gastritis conditions . I believe that this medication cause me to have a mini stroke. Maybe I should contact a lawyer.

  • RoseannaNovember 28, 2016 at 11:33 am

    It will always be profits over people!

  • MauraNovember 27, 2016 at 12:01 am

    What took authorities so long to publish this information and why did they allow the drug companies to make them available as over the counter medications? As someone who had multiple hospitalizations for mysterious paralysis of my facial muscles beginning in 1997 (noted as Transcient Aschemic Attacks, TIA's) I find this information to be "too little too late!" :(

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