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Prilosec: From Heartburn to Worse Condition

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

Prilosec is a proton pump inhibitor that’s more often referred to as Omeprazole. Stomach ulcers and acid reflux issues are often treated using this medication. Prilosec works to relieve heartburn and esophageal irritation. It’s also reported to help prevent cancer in the esophagus. While Prilosec has been helpful for millions of patients worldwide, there have been cases reporting some serious side effects.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Prilosec is linked to nephritis chronic kidney disease, and acute kidney injury. Studies conducted by the St. Louis’ Washington University School of Medicine found that more than half of their participants taking Prilosec reported developing kidney problems without being aware of their kidneys’ decline in health. You can learn more on this page about Prilosec’s negative effects.

This side effect may be due to the oxidative stress and tubular cell death that omeprazole can cause.

An estimated 15 million Americans are diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). More than half of these patients are prescribed proton pump inhibitors to relieve symptoms. Others purchase PPIs over-the-counter at drug stores and department stores.

In light of these recent discoveries, doctors are hard-pressed to monitor or discontinue prescribing omeprazole to patients.

Ischemic Stroke

Prilosec has also been found to increase a patient’s risk of ischemic stroke. This is according to research from the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016. The study features 244, 679 patients aged 50 and up who had had an endoscopy. In the six years of monitoring, around 9,489 participants were diagnosed with ischemic stroke. One out of four of these patients used PPIs such as Nexium, Protonix, and Prilosec. These findings suggest that stroke risk in patients taking PPIs is increased by 21%.

Symptoms of ischemic stroke include:

  • Arm, face, and leg paralysis

  • Speech problems

  • Cognitive problems

  • Headaches and nausea

  • Balance issues

If you experience any of these symptoms after long-term use of Prilosec, seek attention from your physician immediately.

Bone Fractures in the Hips, Wrists, and Spine

In a recent evaluation conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it was determined that Prilosec increased a patient’s risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis. Their studies found that patients who received high doses of the PPI had a higher risk of experiencing bone fractures in the hips, wrists, and spine. However, those who received lower doses were safe.

The studies involved patients ages 50 and up. Results were primarily recorded in this specific age group.

Patients should be made aware of these side effects so they may weigh the benefits and potential risks of the medication when they decide to use them.

Acid-Rebound Symptoms

Acid-rebound is a well-recorded symptom in Prilosec users. However, physicians paid little to no attention to the issue at all, brushing it off as some kind of natural physiological reaction. Researchers from the Copenhagen University in Denmark, however, thought otherwise.

They conducted a study involving 120 healthy young adults without stomach issues. They provided half of them with PPIs for three months. The other half were merely handed placebos.

Results showed 44% of participants in the group given the PPIs developed acid-rebound symptoms compared to the 9% in the placebo pill group. In other words, their study found that these drugs are causing disorders that they were originally meant to treat.


Prilosec is also known to interact with other medications. Interactions cause an increase or decrease in a medication’s effectiveness. It may also cause serious side effects that can put a person’s safety and health at risk.

Below are a couple of products that may experience adverse interactions with Prilosec:

  • Rifampin

  • Cilostazol

  • Methotrexate

  • Clopidogrel

  • Atazanavir

  • Levokatoconazole

  • Erlotinib

  • Rilpivirine

  • Pazopanib

  • Nelfinavir

  • Itraconzole

This is not a complete list. Consult your physician and ask about possible interactions that Prilosec may cause for more information.

Decreasing PPI usage

There is a reason for the acids contained in our stomachs. Our stomachs have bacteria that can proliferate and cause infections in the intestines and lungs. Stomach acid is there to kill these nasty bacteria and protect our bodies from harmful diseases.

Long-term use of PPIs has been linked to intestinal infection and pneumonia. They may also cause issues with natural calcium absorption, increasing a patient’s risk of developing osteoporosis.

Gradually weaning yourself off the drug can save you from these adverse side effects. It will take a while, and you may even experience a few uncomfortable moments. But once you get over that hill, you’ll feel much better and healthier.

If you or a loved one have been victims of the harmful side effects caused by Prilosec, finding the right attorney to help you get your dues is important. The best attorneys for your case will have the experience and skill to help you just compensation for your sufferings. Not just that, they can also help you get the medical attention and care you need after experiencing the harmful side effects of Prilosec.

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