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Old 02-18-2008, 07:10 PM   #1
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Nexium and Anemia

I have posted on the anemia board, but thought I would post here also. I am suspicious that my long-term use of proton pump inhibitors could be the cause of my anemia. I honestly can't remember how long I have been on Nexium (due to fibromyalgia and anemia have a lot of memory issues) but about 10 years ago I started on Prevacid and when that was no longer effective, I was switched to Nexium. I would guess it has been at least 5 years.

Also, about 8 years ago I began having symptoms of Fibromyalgia (miscellaneous body aches and pains, IBS, fatigue, cognitive problems) that was diagnosed via elimination of other illnesses. There is no specific test for fibromyalgia.

Now, for the last 4 years I have suffered from severe anemia. Last year my ferritin levels dropped to zero and hemoglobin was around 6. I currently see a hematologist for the anemia and have to get IV iron treatments about twice a year. I have had examinations of upper and lower GI tract to eliminate possible internal bleeding. I was also tested for Celiac Disease which can cause anemia but that came back normal, too. The hematologist tested me for a B-12 deficiency last year and said that was fine. Heavy menstrual periods have been blamed but I don't feel as though mine are abnormally heavy, but to be safe, I am having a Mirena IUD put in soon that will lessen or eliminate my periods.

However, I remain suspicious that Nexium could be the cause and even wonder if what has been diagnosed as fibromyalgia could be some other nutritional deficiency related to the reduction in stomach acid production. Anemia is listed as a possible side effect of Nexium, but my gastroenterologist does not believe it would not cause such a sever case, saying there are so many people taking Nexium and no studies have shown anemia being a problem. Does anyone know of any studies linking severe anemia to long term Nexium use? Anyone else with similar problems?

Last edited by JJ1; 02-18-2008 at 07:14 PM.

 
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:18 PM   #2
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Re: Nexium and Anemia

I wanted to add that my acid reflux is due to a hiatal hernia. The acid reflux is so bad, I am in misery if I miss one pill. I take 40 mg and am instructed to take it when I wake up in the morning.

When first diagnosed, the gastroenterologist said the hernia could be repaired surgically in severe cases, but that the recommended route is medication. That is when I started taking prevacid.

 
Old 02-19-2008, 07:31 AM   #3
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Re: Nexium and Anemia

Hi,

Quote:
However, I remain suspicious that Nexium could be the cause and even wonder if what has been diagnosed as fibromyalgia could be some other nutritional deficiency related to the reduction in stomach acid production. Anemia is listed as a possible side effect of Nexium, but my gastroenterologist does not believe it would not cause such a sever case, saying there are so many people taking Nexium and no studies have shown anemia being a problem. Does anyone know of any studies linking severe anemia to long term Nexium use? Anyone else with similar problems?
thank you for posting your experience. I am sorry about your problems and hope that your anemia is reversible. I am glad you have all the necessary tests done to eliminate other possible causes.
I did not know about this particular side effect of Nexium. I think at least one of my meds has the same effect and can cause anemia. I haven't done much research about Nexium and its long-term use. I have a feeling I will be taking Nexium for a long time to come so should inform myself about its possible side effects and read a few studies. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Take care,

flowergirl

 
Old 02-19-2008, 08:38 AM   #4
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Re: Nexium and Anemia

I gave a big long post yesterday on how meds affect us and got to thinking that the long term Nexium "may be" some of my problems now! I too, always show to be annemic and I'm past periods. Also, my B12 is low. I have the joint aches and pains but can contribute those to my "old age." LOL. I have been told long ago to take vitamins with PPI's for various reasons. I don't think the Dr's actually know what all happens after years and years of PPI use. But, what do we do in the mean time? Like you said, we suffer one way or another. Sometimes I'm not even sure if the Nexium does any good (until I try to get off) but I'm afraid of the C word, which someone else posted yesterday that long term use of Nexium may cause that! The thing is that when meds are tested and approved, every single, little, tiny side effect is supposed to be listed with the meds so we can't freak out at every, little, side effect. I even take the meds a few days or weeks before I even read the side effects because I'm afraid I'll experience them. As all of us are different on these boards as well as those who were participates in the drug testing, this is one more good reason to be a member of this board. I think the only way we will "really" come close to learning what is going on in our bodies is to share with each other our every day symptoms and of course we've got to keep the Dr's straight by comparing notes! LOL.

Charla

 
Old 02-19-2008, 10:05 AM   #5
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Re: Nexium and Anemia

PPI's have been shown to stop the absorption of certain vitamins (B12, etc.) - I have read a lot about this because I have low iron normally. No cycles for me either.

They actually now make a vitamin specifically for people on PPI's - it has B Vitamins, magnesium, and Folic Acid. So I think that points pretty strongly to the fact that these medications mess with those 'nutrients'....

I do not think it would be so far fetched to think that Nexium could be causing this severe anemia problem in you - not everyone reacts to every drug the same way. If I take Pennicillin I stop breathing - not a 'NORMAL' drug reaction but it happened to me. I hate it when Drs. try to dismiss things that are REALLY happening to us. Perhaps you are just having a more 'serious' malabsorption problem from Nexium then most - he should at least LOOK into it for you.

Good luck - I hope you find some relief soon....

Vanessa

 
Old 02-19-2008, 08:09 PM   #6
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Re: Nexium and Anemia

Hi Charla!
I couldn't agree with you more! I happen to know that not all side effects are included on the pharmacy drug information sheets. Package inserts contain more relevant information. Unfortunately, we don't get any package inserts here. I was told by several pharmacists that the inserts are not supplied by the drug manufacturers. IF true, I wonder what the reason for that is. The information about drugs supplied by the pharmacies is minimal at best. That is why I have several drug books and always cross-check. Some of the information not listed on the drug info sheets would surprise you. I had my share of major multiple side effects/adverse reactions, impairing my quality of life greatly and making me miserable and unable to do anything for months. I am not out of the woods yet either. I have to be careful since I take multiple meds. I always learn everything about them, how they work, benefits versus risks, dosing, effects on laboratory tests, contraindications and interactions etc. Our doctors simply don't have the time (or sometimes lack the knowledge, I suspect) to talk to us at length about any of this.

I didn't know there was a vitamin for people on PPIs. It probably contains only some of the ingredients found in our daily multivitamins.
I talked to a coworker today who had tried using probiotics repeatedly as directed by ER doctors. She lost 10lbs on probiotics in the first week while eating her regular healthy meals. They had very undesirable side effects and made her quite ill. So she stopped. Tried a couple more times before deciding that the side effects were not worth the benefit (which she never saw). I think some people tolerate them better than others. She has also tried the probiotic yogurt but says it is not strong enough to fight the bacteria.

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 02-19-2008 at 08:10 PM.

 
Old 02-28-2008, 01:59 PM   #7
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Re: Nexium and Anemia

I'm so glad I have come across this post!! I have been taking Nexium on and off for the last 5 years trying other PPIs in between. In November 2007 I started to get really sick. I was so fatigued I could barely leave my house and the joint pain and muscle aches were excrutiating. I have been to 3 different doctors and they all have dismissed it as the flu, which is ironic because I don't have any other symptoms and have experienced this pain for about 4 months now. Other people I have told said it sounds like fibromyalgia. I never even thought that it could be a side effect from taking Nexium for so long. I am going to another doctor next week so I will definitely bring this up. What is the name of the supplement that people on PPIs take?

 
Old 02-28-2008, 03:13 PM   #8
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Re: Nexium and Anemia

Taking a daily multivitamin with iron and B12 (eg Thegran-M) with a glutamic acid or betaine hydrochloride tablet (to peoduce some hydrochloric acid in the stomach)

If you cant get glutamic acid or betaine, take it with a glass of orange juice

Last edited by aussiejono; 02-28-2008 at 03:15 PM.

 
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