Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are widely used by millions of individuals for the treatment of gastric acid-related problems. For patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, erosive esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, and other gastric acid concerns, PPIs provide much-needed relief to lessen the condition and prevent the onset of other potentially life-threatening medical complications. PPIs are also given to some people to reduce the risk of developing gastritis and peptic ulcer disease caused by using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Many healthcare professionals prescribe PPIs because of their effectiveness. Patients have long heard the names Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec in their doctors’ offices and on TV.
But recent studies point to the perils of using PPIs as a long-term solution for certain patient profiles. The Annals of Family Medicine reported in the May/June edition that PPIs caused a “29 percent increased risk of fracture, including a 31 percent increased risk of hip fracture and a 54 percent increased risk of vertebral fracture.” These studies, which combined five case-control studies, three nested case-control studies, and three cohort studies, are the first meta-analysis regarding PPIs and the potential for fractures.
The Federal Drug Administration has also recently released a warning about PPIs. They report that PPIs can cause low serum magnesium levels in some individuals. These low levels can cause seizures, irregular heartbeat, and muscle spasms. The FDA recommends that healthcare professionals monitor a patient’s serum magnesium levels before prescribing PPIs long term.
Both studies state that patients could benefit by taking certain supplements to offset PPI-induced vitamin deficiencies. For those prone to bone loss, calcium and vitamin B12 could be beneficial, and in individuals with low serum magnesium, magnesium supplements can help. Overall, though, both the FDA and Annals of Family Medicine report that healthcare professionals need to be far more cognizant of their patient’s health, medical conditions, and the medicines they are currently taking. They advise physicians to use the lowest effective PPI dose and incorporate a step-down approach as a patient finishes a PPI prescription.
If a patient develops a serious medical complication as a result of a healthcare professional’s failure to provide proper warning about the long-term use of PPIs or fails to monitor magnesium levels or bone density, their rights as a patient may have been neglected. Individuals should get legal counsel to investigate whether the drug caused serious personal injury and, if so, how to get legally compensated for their injury.
The Chicago personal injury lawyer Robert I. Briskman, Esq. has decades of experience representing individuals dealing with serious injuries. The team of Chicago personal injury attorneys at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg will help an individual get fair compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages caused by the negligence of a healthcare professional or dangers of a prescription drug.
Paul Greenberg is a Chicago personal injury lawyer and Chicago personal injury attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com/.