Acid-Reducing PPIs May Interact With Some Prescription Drugs and Herbal Supplements

man taking medsProton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Prilosec® (omeprazole), Nexium® (esomeprazole), and Prevacid® (lansoprazole) treat acid-peptic disorders by entering the bloodstream and signaling the acid-forming cells in the stomach lining to make less gastric acid. As a result, PPI medications can be incredibly effective at treating chronic, painful heartburn and other acid-related conditions, including peptic ulcer disease (PUD) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

However, using Prilosec, Nexium and other PPI drugs isn't without risk. Medications in this class may interact negatively with some common prescription drugs and herbal supplements, and can be dangerous if taken for too long a duration.

Potential Interactions

PPI medications can interact with other popular prescription drugs, including blood thinners such as Plavix (clopidogrel), which is the world's second most-prescribed drug. This is because Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, and other PPIs block the enzyme that turns Plavix® into its active form, reducing the drug's blood-thinning effects and increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke and even death. PPIs interact similarly with the Brilinta® (ticagrelor), another popular anti-clotting medication, and the blood thinner Coumadin® (warfarin).

Other popular prescription medications that may negatively interact with PPI drugs include:

  • Anti-anxiety benzodiazepines medications, such as Valium® (diazepam)
  • Alcoholism treatments, such as Antabuse (disulfuram)
  • HIV/AIDS medications, such as Reyataz® (atazanavir), Viracept® (nelfinavir), Complera®, and Edurant® (rilpivirine)
  • Antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, ampicillin, rifampin, and clarithromycin
  • Epilepsy drugs, such as Dilantin® (phenytoin)
  • Antifungal agents, such as Nizoral, Xolegel®, and Extina® (ketoconazole)
  • Blood pressure and antiarrhythmic drugs, such as Lanoxin® and Digox (digoxin)
  • Intermittent claudication drugs, such as Pletal® (cilostazol)
  • Cancer treatment medications, such as Tarceva® (erlotinib), Trexall, and Rasuvo® (methotrexate)
  • Iron-containing medicines, including ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulfate, and ferrous gluconate
  • Anticonvulsant drugs, such as Dilantin®, Dilantin-125®, and Phenytek® (phenytoin)
  • Immunosuppressants, such as Protopic®, Prograf®, and Hecoria (tacrolimus)

Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, and other PPI medications may also interact with popular herbal supplements, including:

  • St. John's Wart
  • Turmeric
  • Ginkgo Biloba

Other Precautions

When used on a long-term basis, PPIs can increase a patient's risk of developing serious kidney conditions, such as chronic kidney disease, by up to 50 percent. Additionally, patients who take multiple doses of PPI medications each day further increase their risk of experiencing adverse effects. For example, patients who take PPI drugs such as Prilosec once a day have a 15 percent increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease, compared to a 46 percent increased risk for those who take the medication twice daily.

Limiting the use to PPI medications may help to mitigate these and other risk associated with the use of this class of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that doctors and patients restrict their use of PPI drugs to no more than three 14-day treatment cycles in a 12-month period. However, longer treatment cycles may be indicated for patients who use the drug while recovering from ulcers.

Also, Prilosec, Nexium, and other PPIs may not be suitable for all patient populations. For example, PPI medications should only be used to treat infants under a doctor's careful supervision and may not be the best choice for patients ages 50 and older, as older patients have an increased risk of associated side effects, such as osteoporosis, bone fractures, and dementia.

Have You Experienced Adverse Effects While Taking PPIs?

Even patients who are careful to avoid drug interactions and are not in the patient populations with increased risk may still experience PPI side effects, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, constipation, and joint pain; or serious complications, including arterial damage, heart attack, pneumonia, or kidney problems.

If you've experienced dangerous drug interactions, or serious side effects and complications associated with the use of PPI medications, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact the knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorneys with McGartland Law Firm to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your case. We're ready to help you fight for any compensation you may deserve. Complete our online contact form or call our office at 866-957-5141.