Nexium Side Effects

Nexium has been used by millions to relieve gastric disorders associated with over-production of stomach acid. However, a growing body of research suggests that long-term use of the proton pump inhibitor may result in kidney failure and other possible Nexium side effects.

Is Nexium Overused?

The “Little Purple Pill,” Nexium, was developed by AstraZeneca, which in 2008 earned more than $13 billion in sales from the popular prescription heart burn medication. Part of a class called proton pump inhibitors, Nexium works by turning off the pumps in the stomach that produce gastric acid. An over-the-counter formulation called Nexium 24Hr is also available.

Nexium is only intended to be used for a short course of treatment, ranging from 4 to 8 weeks. However, some research suggests that Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors are used inappropriately, with many patients taking the drugs for extended periods of time. This could increase the risk for certain Nexium side effects, including B12 deficiency, low magnesium levels and certain bone fractures.

Nexium Kidney Side Effects

A number of recently-published studies suggest that patients who use Nexium might be more likely to suffer serious kidney complications.

  • November 2014: the FDA updated the labels for Nexium and other PPIs to include information about acute interstitial nephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys that can also lead to kidney failure.
  • January 2016: Research published in JAMA: Internal Medicine suggested that patients who took twice-daily doses of Nexium were 46% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease. Patients who used the drugs just once per day had a 15% higher risk. Read More
  • April 2016: A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology suggested that patients who use proton pump inhibitors were 96% more likely to develop kidney failure and 28% more likely to suffer chronic kidney disease compared to those who took another class of heartburn medications.   The findings also indicated that the overall risk increases with higher doses and longer duration of use. Read More

Other Potential Nexium Complications

In addition to kidney issues, studies have also found possible links between proton pump inhibitors and other serious side effects:

Heart Attacks

June 2015, research published in PLOS One  suggested that people who take proton pump inhibitors were 16-to-21% more likely to have a heart attack. In reaching their conclusions, the authors of the study analyzed medical records from nearly 3 million patients who were using the drugs.


A study that appeared in JAMA Neurology in April 2016 suggested that seniors who use proton pump inhibitors face a 44% increased risk of dementia compared with those not receiving the medications. The drugs are known to affect levels of two proteins that play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid beta and tau, and they have been tied to B12 deficiency, which can lead to cognitive declines. Read More

Blood Vessel Damage

A study published in the May 2016 issue of Circulation Research reported that long-term exposure to Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors may cause the blood vessels to age more rapidly. This could explain the possible association between the drugs and certain serious complications, including heart attacks and kidney failure. Read More

Risks to Heart Disease Patients

A study that appeared in the June 2016 issue of International Journal of Cardiologysuggests the long-term use of proton pump inhibitors might pose a number of health risks to heart disease patients. The authors of the paper reported that anemia was significantly more prevalent in heart disease patients who used pump inhibitors compared to those who did not. Use of the drugs was also associated with worsening of metabolic profile, in part due to decreased utilization of ACE-inhibitors and statins. Read More

Gastointenstinal Infections

A study published on January 5, 2017 by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology linked the use of  certain heartburn drugs, including proton pump inhibitors, to an increased risk of  dangerous stomach infections, including C. difficile and Campylobacter. The authors of the study surmised that the reduction of acid brought about by these medications could make patients more susceptible to gut bacteria, resulting in the heightened risk of infection. Read More

Legal Help for Those Harmed by Nexium Side Effects

There is legal help available for victims of kidney side effects that may be associated with Nexium. To learn more, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP today at (888) 994-5118.

  1. FDA (2010) “FDA Drug Safety Communication: Possible increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine with the use of proton pump inhibitors”
  2. FDA (2011) FDA Drug Safety Communication: Low magnesium levels can be associated with long-term use of Proton Pump Inhibitor drugs (PPIs)
  3. JAMA: Internal Medicine (2016) “Proton Pump Inhibitor Use and the Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease”
  4. PLOS One (2015) “Proton Pump Inhibitor Usage and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction in the General Population”
Last Modified: January 7, 2017

Get the latest news and litigation updates about this case by following us on Facebook. Click the "Like" button below.


Follow Us on Google+ on Facebook on LinkedIn on Twitter on YouTube on Pinterest

Skip to content