Women who suffer from erosive esophagitis may not need to take a whole dose of Nexium or another proton pump inhibitor to obtain symptom relief. According to a new study published last month in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, much smaller doses appear to work just as well.
This study involved a group 100 people (50 men and 50 women) with erosive esophagitis, all of whom had been taking proton pump inhibitor to reduce symptoms. Half of the men and half of the women were randomly selected to step down their use of proton pump inhibitors to a half dose.
According to the authors of the study, women were three times more likely to tolerate the lower dose and continue to show symptom control. In fact, only three women compared to nine of the men failed to complete a two-month lower dose therapy program.
Proton pump inhibitors, which also include medications like PrevAcid, Prilosec and others, are taken by millions of people every year to relieve heart burn and other ailments associated with excess stomach acid. However, it has been suggested that the drugs are being overused and inappropriately prescribed, which could increase the risk for certain serious side effects, including B12 deficiency, kidney inflammation, and certain bone fractures. Some recent research has also suggested that the long-term use of proton pump inhibitors may increase a person’s risk for heart attack, dementia, chronic kidney disease and renal failure.
In April, for example, a laboratory study published in Circulation Research reported that extended exposure to normal doses of Nexium caused accelerated aging in cultured endothelial cells, which line blood vessel walls. That same month, research published in JAMA Neurology suggested that regular proton pump inhibitor use was associated with a 44% increased risk of dementia among seniors.
A potential link between the use of proton pump inhibitors and chronic kidney disease was reported earlier this year in a study published by JAMA: Internal Medicine. Patients who used the drugs twice a day were 46% more likely to develop the condition. Daily use was associated with a 15% higher risk.
Another study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology suggested that patients taking proton pump inhibitors are 96% more likely to develop kidney failure and 28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease. Risk increased with higher doses and longer duration of use.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is now investigating Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec lawsuits on behalf of patients who suffered kidney injuries and complications that might be related to their use of these medications. To learn more, please call (888) 994-8177.