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Old 04-28-2005, 08:27 AM   #1
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Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

I am investigating here for my husband. He has been taking nexium for a few years and has developed weakening of bones, vascular disease, gets pneumonia very easily. He does have GERD from a darn hernia.

I would say it interferes with important nutrients from the food(which is what I have read about). The food just kinda sits in the stomach without being neutralized by lack of stomach acid. It is like having chronic constipation which leads to developement of cholesterol, plaque in arteries. That is just my opinion anyway.

He is a very healthy, slim,44 years old. He does not eat very much and gets plenty of excersize. I really am worried about this plaque buildup in his caratoid artery.

Anyboy have problems like this?

 
Old 04-28-2005, 08:45 PM   #2
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

Plaque build up is not a side effect of Nexium that I know of. It seems highly unlikely to me that it is, since plaque is made of fat, and Nexium does not effect the enzymes that break down fat. Machanical digestion moves food from the stomach, and enzymes break it down. There's really no need for acid in the stomach, and if your husband has heart problems, I would doubt it's from the Nexium.

I have said this before, but my GI doctor insists the only side effects of PPIs are increased risk of pneumonia (which reflux causes anyways) and increased risk of food poisoning. There was recently a thread about the pneumonia.

What dose is your husband on?

 
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Old 04-29-2005, 07:05 AM   #3
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

Yes he get pneumonia very easy. He only takes Nexium.

I looked it up and it is not suppose to be taken longterm. He has been on it for a couple of years I believe every single day.

It just seems weird because he eats like a bird and is very active. I did do some more research and found out it can decrease your intake of vitamin B12 and some others.

I don't know it is just a guess but it seems like if it neutralizes your stomach acid. It just seems like it would not break down the food and make it just kind of sit there like in constipation. I have had constipation from hypothyroidism and made me have high cholesterol.

There are no longterm studies on Nexium I know. Well anyway, I made him quit taking it everyday, only as needed. He listened to me Yay, yay!!!!

I don't know it will take awhile to see if it is the cause. This is just MY assumption.

thanks for your reply. You think I am crazy huh?LOL

 
Old 04-29-2005, 06:39 PM   #4
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

Nexium is a proton pump inhibitor. It is itself a fairly new drug, but it is almost identical to Prilosec, and drug that has been on the market for many years and proven to be safe long term. Both drugs are made by Astro-Zeneca.

Nexium DOES NOT neutralize stomach acid. It stops these things in your stomach called proton pumps from making it altogether.


Nexium takes 2 weeks at least to work. IF YOUR HUSBAND DOES NOT TAKE IT EVERYDAY IT WILL NOT WORK AT ALL! The drug needs to be at consistant levels in your system or else it will not do a thing. There are other drugs that can be taken as needed, like Zantac. These drugs are called H2 blockers, and do work to neutralize the acid. I cannot empathesize enough that Nexium cannot be taken as needed.

Again, let me point out to you that acid does not break down fats. Enzymes do. Coronary artery disease is not a side effect of proton pump inhibitor use.

If your husband only takes Nexium once a day, he is taking 1/2 to 1/4 of the maximum dose. Your husbands risk of pneumonia is higher if the acid reflux goes uncontrolled than if he takes nexium. I have been on very high doses of proton pump inhibitors for a long time, and no pneumonia. It's a rare side effect.

The condition you describe concerning vitamin B12 is called pernicuous anemia. It is VERY, VERY rare. It does not effect a person intake of vitamin B12, since only that person controls that. It can effect how well a person absorbs vitamin B12. Chances even on very high doses of PPIs of getting it are low. With that I would say just go off it if it happens. I have a friend who got it and she went off the drug and was fine within a week.

In most people acid reflux, which can cause cancer, electrolyte imbalances, tears in the esophogus, cavities, ulcers, and a whole host of breathing problems, is much more dangerous than proton pump inhibitors.

I would encourage you to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist to discuss your concerns rather than just telling your husband not to take it. The effects of acid reflux go way beyond the pain.

 
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Old 04-30-2005, 04:12 AM   #5
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

Well I know that medicines will effect each individual in a different way. If I want to tell my husband not to take it, because I care about his health, that is strictly my business.

I am not saying that it DOES cause vascular disease, but anything that is taking that messes with nature, is going to cause problems.

My husband has been on PPIs for more years then you have.

 
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Old 04-30-2005, 07:40 AM   #6
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

I'm not saying it's not your business if you don't want your husband to be on them. I'm saying you should talk with the doctor about treatments that will work if only taken as needed, because Nexium won't.

 
Old 04-30-2005, 08:59 AM   #7
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

Hi ladies. One more voice to ring in here: As Blondie says, it is also my understanding that Nexium will not work if not taken on a regular basis. If lack of B12 is a concern, as it should be, have your husband take a B12 supplement. I take a multi as well as an additional supplement because I do share that concern. Lady50, when I get nervous about being on ppi's for long term - or some of the side effects kick in too strongly, I will go off of them and try Carafate for a while. Inevitably, the pain in my body and the concern of the gerd damage leads me right back to the ppis. It is a vicious cycle ... there is no easy answer. Blondie, I didn't know that the ppi's can cause electrolyte imbalance? How do you counteract that? Drink gatorade? Would love to hear your thoughts. Jen

 
Old 04-30-2005, 10:51 AM   #8
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

PPIs don't cause my electrolyte imbalances- the reflux does when it's not controlled. My reflux causes me to vomit a lot, which this leads to electrolyte problems. I make sure and drink plenty of water, and I also have electrolyte pills I can take. If my blood pressure drops really low I have steroids to bring it up.

I take Carafate too as needed. It's a nice drug with few side effects that helps a lot.

 
Old 04-30-2005, 11:22 AM   #9
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

I looked up the prescribing information and one of the side effects is blood disorders(in very tiny letters). Us guinea pigs will not know what the effects are until it happens.

 
Old 04-30-2005, 11:29 AM   #10
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

I agree Lady50, we are guinea pigs. And if I think about it too much I get concerned ... so I try not to focus on it. Unfortunately, I don't know that we have any other choices. GERD can be very destructive ... it seems to be one of the bodies' more vulnerable areas. Once this disease progresses, it is very hard to repair. I have decided, until I require the fundo, I will stick with the ppi's until they don't work or the side effects are too unpleasant. If I don't take them, the acid will destroy my esophogus - that is a given. If I do take them, there is a chance that my esophogus will stay healthy until the medical establishment gives me another alternative. I am 39 and am not ready to give my esophogus over to the acid without a fight.

 
Old 04-30-2005, 11:35 AM   #11
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

I agree with Lady, I was shocked to see the huge list of "rare" side effects listed in the presribing information of all the PPIs. My RX said don't worry about it these don't cause side effects and my GI dr was unaware of most iof the rare ones in small print!!

I admit the Prilosec worked for my reflux and all the pain I had associated with the reflux damage but I am afraid of the side effects down the line. I have been having trouble with my lymph nodes in my neck since taking the prilosec and I have been off of it a week and they still haven't gone down!!

Reflux is terrible and I was amazed and all the pain and trouble it had cause me but I would love to have another alternative to taking a pill for the next 30 years.

 
Old 04-30-2005, 11:40 AM   #12
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

I think it's a pity if people just live with reflux disease, when there are a lot of meds that work to treat it. Reflux is a horrible disease. I think they should keep finding more remedies, but right now the ones approved are pretty good for the most part.

Omperazole has been in use since 1996. That's longer than a lot of other drugs.

I think it's important to be aware of the side effects. The ideal time to do that is when your doctor is prescribing the medication, talk to him or her! All medications have side effects.

Aspirin is considered probably more dangerous than PPIs. My doctor told me I could take the whole bottle of Prevacid at once and most likely be fine. If you do that with aspirin you will die.

 
Old 04-30-2005, 12:02 PM   #13
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

tyboyz, I also had swollen neck issues with prilosec. I am now on Nexium and so far so good. Unfortunately, with meds, the situation is constantly evolving. However, if you are getting something unpleasant from one, try another ... it might not be the case. Each med had a list of potential side effects the length of a Steven King novel (and many just as scary!), we don't know what will effect each of us until we try it. And sometimes, one side effect will disappear only for another to appear. As I said earlier, it is constantly evolving and a person can only cope with the current situation. I am going to keep with the Nexium until I can't, and then I will have to figure out what is next. However, doing nothing is an option I will never consider. Blondy, how old are you and how long have you been suffering with this? What med are you on and for how long? I feel it is so important to understand other people's situation so that I can better understand my own. As you are a 'senior member', it looks like this has already been a long haul for you.

 
Old 04-30-2005, 12:14 PM   #14
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

I am 19. I've had reflux since I was 16. I was diagnosed when I was 16 after a year of constant vomiting, loosing 50 pounds, tearing a hole in my esophogus, giving myself 14 cavities. I have also thrown my electrolytes off countless times. I was diagnosed by the peds GI after no other doctor knew what the heck was wrong with me. I had the hole in my esophogus then. I went on 60mg of Prevacid. It worked wonders for awhile. Then symptoms returned and I was switched to Prilosec, then back to Prevacid, then they added Carafate. I still was pretty sick and then I was getting fevers everyday and getting dizzy. That was the first time I threw my electrolytes out. I had a gastric empty scan, and was tested for rare diseases, but it was just the electrolyte problem. I got better for awhile using the Carafate and Prevacid, then got sick again. I was switched to Nexium, when my first pH probe was done. pH probe showed major problems still, so I was switched back to Prevacid and Reglan and Phergan were added. I actually went off the Reglan because of side effects.

I have yet to find a treatment that really works for me, but the Prevacid seems the most effective without the side effects. Right now I'm looking into the fundo as myu most recent pH probe still showed severe reflux on meds.

I have a lot of posts because I post in more than one board- I have blood sugar problems, so I post in the diabetes board (though I'm not diabetic yet- I'm heading that way), I have reflux-related asthma as well, and allergies to dogs, pollen, dust, dust mites, grass, and trees, so I post in the allergy board as well.

Hope this isn't too much info mjcm. I agree that it's important to understand other people's situations.

I'm glad doing nothing will never be an option for you.

Lady 50, I'm sorry if I came across as harsh, but I really hate for people to suffer. As you can tell, I've been through a lot with reflux and know first hand how damaging it can be. I do a lot of reading and truly feel that the side effects are much less dangerous than the disease, but that's just me. You are right that it is your decision whether the drug is used or not, but please talk to your doctor about your concerns with the side effects.

Last edited by blondy2061h; 04-30-2005 at 12:15 PM.

 
Old 04-30-2005, 01:07 PM   #15
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Re: Any health effects with long term use of Nexium?

I want to apologize for sounding harsh myself. I have a thyroid problem and get aggravated easily.

I feel bad about being so rude with you. Also, I worry about my husband because he seems to have had a personality change from being sick. With this vascular disease of the carotoid artery that he has makes me worry. I know that one of the blood clots can go into the brain and cause a stroke.

God bless

 
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