Prilosec is a proton pump inhibitor manufactured by AstraZeneca that is used to reduce the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as heartburn. A British study published in the December 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found prolonged and/or heavy use of Prilosec increases the risk of hip fractures in individuals over 50 years old. Prilosec works by blocking the enzyme in the stomach wall that produces stomach acid. The reduction of stomach acid can make it harder for the body to absorb some nutrients including calcium, which can lead to weakened bones and fractures.
As a result of this debilitating hip fracture side effect, Prilosec can be considered a defective drug. Often drug companies are negligent and do not fully inform doctors and patients about these side effects. AstraZeneca may be required to compensate individuals who have suffered hip fractures due to Prilosec. If you have experienced hip problems due to taking Prilosec, you should contact Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz at (877) 810-4808 to learn more about your legal rights and the possibility of compensation.
8.12.08 – Results from a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal have found a conclusive link between the prolonged use of powerful proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, and a higher risk of bone fracture.
The Canadian study evaluated 16,000 patients aged 50 and over who had suffered hip fracture, along with a control group of 47,000 patients aged 50 and over with no history of bone fracture. The two groups were assessed based on proton pump inhibitor use.
People taking proton pump inhibitors for five years are two-times more likely to suffer bone fracture. People taking proton pump inhibitors for more than seven years are four-times more likely to suffer bone fracture.
Although the Canadian study does not find a causative relationship between proton pump inhibitor use and bone fracture, it nonetheless does verify a relationship between the two. It has been hypothesized that the bone fracture could be related to calcium deficiency. Antacids neutralize powerful acids in the stomach. Hydrochloric acid is believed to play an integral role in the body’s absorption of calcium, a mineral necessary in bone health. Prolonged use of antacids could inhibit hydrochloric acid production, in turn inhibiting calcium absorption.
Proton pump inhibitor users should speak with their doctor to discuss their options. Oftentimes, the powerful antacids are prescribed inappropriately when a more basic option is available.
Nexium and Prilosec
Many people confuse Nexium and Prilosec since they are manufactured by the same company and both are used to treat heartburn. Nexium, with esomeprazole as its active ingredient, is similar to Prilosec but is only available with a prescription. Prilosec, with omeprazole as its active ingredient, was the first heartburn drug introduced and is now available over the counter. Laboratory studies have discerned very little difference between the effectiveness of esomeprazole and omeprazole. The only way these two active ingredients differ is esomeprazole is an s-isomer of omeprazole, which means on an atomic level, the atoms are connected the same but their arrangement in space is different. Nexium is currently only available to adults, while Prilosec is approved for adults and children two years or older.
Side Effects of Prilosec
The British study analyzed 145,000 different users of proton pump inhibitors including Prilosec. The results showed a 44% increase in the risk of hip fractures for individuals over the age of 50. The study also showed that long term, high dose users had a two and a half times greater risk of hip fractures than non-users. Men pose a greater risk than women for hip fractures, since women typically have a diet higher in calcium, which offsets some of the concerns associated with prolonged use of Prilosec.
AstraZeneca claims the increased risk of hip fractures in patients taking Prilosec is nothing more than a coincidence. Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their products are safe for public consumption. AstraZeneca’s disregard for their consumers’ well-being has made them potentially liable for any hip fracture facilitated by taking Prilosec. The Law Offices of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz boast some of the most experienced defective drug attorneys in the United States. Contact the defective drug lawyers of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz today at (888) 255-2956 to learn more about your rights if you have suffered a hip fracture while taking Prilosec.