Consumer Reports has joined the growing chorus of critics cautioning against the widespread and long-term use of proton pump inhibitors like Nexium. According to articles recently published on its website, side effects and other issues associated with these medications make them a poor choice for most people with heartburn.
The first article highlighted studies linking the long-term use of proton pump inhibitors to kidney failure and chronic kidney disease . The most recent of these followed nearly 200,000 patients treated through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for five years, and found a nearly 20% increased risk of kidney disease among proton pump inhibitor users compared to those taking H2 blockers like Zantac.
The article also noted studies linking long-term proton pump inhibitor use to heart attacks and dementia, and mentioned other well-known side effects like low magnesium levels, B12 deficiency, bone fractures and C. diff infections.
The second Consumer Reports article provides advice on the appropriate use of proton pump inhibitors. For patients with mild heartburn symptoms, over-the-counter remedies like TUMS or Mylanta could provide the relief they seek. H2 blockers are another possible alternative, as they provide both quick and long-lasting relief from heart burn symptoms.
Consumer Reports does concede that the benefits of proton pump inhibitors probably outweigh their risks for patients suffering from GERD. This chronic condition can damage the esophagus, and may lead to other more serious problems like cancer. But because of the complications potentially associated with medications like Nexium, the American Gastroenterological Association recommends that they be used for the shortest time necessary to address symptoms.
Patient who takes Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors should also be aware that the cessation of treatment can result in something called a rebound effect. This causes the stomach to produce excess gastric acid once the drugs are stopped, and can lead to a significant increase in symptoms. As such, Consumer Reports urges patients to ask their doctor about strategies for weaning themselves off of the medications once their GERD symptoms subside.
Nexium lawsuit reviews are now available to individuals who suffered kidney complications that may be related to this or another proton pump inhibitor. To learn more, please call (888) 994-8177.