Prilosec (generic: omeprazole) is a popular heartburn drug that prohibits the excessive production and buildup of acid in the stomach. Unfortunately, patients who take Prilosec may be doing so without knowing about the risk of potentially dangerous side effects. Among other adverse events, an increased risk of Prilosec bone fractures have become synonymous with this medication.
What is Prilosec?
Manufactured and marketed by AstraZeneca, Prilosec belongs to a group of heartburn relief drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Prilosec was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1989, and is sold over-the-counter at one seventh the cost of AstraZeneca’s other PPI drug, Nexium. Both decrease gastric acids in the stomach. Nexium is currently approved for adults only, while Prilosec is approved for adults and children as young as age one. Prilosec is approved to treat:
- ulcers in the lining of the stomach
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- erosive esophagitis
Proton pump inhibitor drugs like Prilosec work by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. In 2009 alone, approximately 21 million PPI prescriptions were filled at retail pharmacies around the country. Medications in the PPI class include:
Prilosec Side Effects
Unfortunately, studies have shown that the use of such medications may greatly increase the risk of a number of side effects including:
- Hip fractures
- Wrist fractures
- Spine fractures
- Abdominal pain
- Allergic reactions
- Heart attack
- Weight loss
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Prilosec Bone Fractures
In May 2010, the FDA issued an official warning linking the increased risk of bone fractures to heartburn drugs in the same class as Prilosec. Based on the results of numerous scientific studies, the administration required the manufacturers of these drugs to change their labels to include information about the risk of bone fractures. Patients currently taking Prilosec or other PPI medication are advised to consult their physician about possible alternative courses of action.
Injured by Prilosec? You may have a case.
If you’ve suffered from a bone fracture or any of the other serious side effects listed in this article after taking Prilosec for an extended period of time, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your pain and suffering by filing a lawsuit. The Defective Drug Lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP specialize in these lawsuits and can help you assess the merits of your case.