The proton pump inhibitor PrevAcid is an effective remedy for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcers, and heart burn. However, the medication may be associated with a number of side effects, including bone fractures, Chronic Kidney Disease, and heart attacks.

What is PrevAcid?

PrevAcid (lansoprazole) belongs to a group of medications known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), all of which work by blocking acid release in the stomach. The prescription version of PrevAcid was introduced in 1995 by Takeda Pharmaceuticals. It is currently indicated for

  • Short-Term Treatment Of Active Duodenal Ulcer
  • pylori Eradication to Reduce the Risk of Duodenal Ulcer Recurrence
  • Maintenance Of Healed Duodenal Ulcers
  • Short-Term Treatment Of Active Benign Gastric Ulcer
  • Healing Of NSAID-Associated Gastric Ulcer
  • Risk Reduction Of NSAID-Associated Gastric Ulcer
  • Short-term treatment of GERD
  • Short-Term Treatment of Erosive Esophagitis
  • Maintenance Of Healing Of Erosive Esophagitis (EE)
  • Pathological Hypersecretory Conditions Including Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (ZES)

In 2009, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved PrevAcid 24HR, an over-the-counter version of the drug. PrevAcid 24HR is marketed by Novartis.

Lab Experiment Suggests Proton Pump Inhibitors May Damage Blood Vessels

The results of a new lab experiment  suggests that long-term exposure to proton pump inhibitors like PrevAcid may accelerate aging of blood vessels. According to a study published in Circulation Research in May 2016, this could explain the possible association between the drugs and certain serious complications, including heart attacks and kidney failure. Read More

PrevAcid and Heart Attacks

In June 2015, an article published in PLOS One raised concerns that the use of prescription PPIs could increase the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular death. The authors of the report examined the medications’ use in patients without a history of heart disease in two separate studies that encompassed some 3 million people. The findings suggested that PPI medications may increase the heart attack risk by 16 to 21%, and double the risk of cardiovascular death.

PrevAcid and Kidney Disease

In January 2016, research published in JAMA: Internal Medicine indicated that patients using PPIs might be more likely to develop Chronic Kidney Disease, or CKD. The study looked at the rate of kidney disease in 10,482 patients who had been enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.  After adjusting for variables, the authors o the report found that PPI use was associated with a 20-50% increased risk of CKD.

PrevAcid and Bone Fractures

In 2010, the FDA warned that patients who use PrevAcid and other prescription proton pump inhibitors may be more likely to experience fractures of the hip, spine and wrists. The risk appeared to be greatest among individuals over age 50, and among patients receiving the highest doses for a year or more.

PrevAcid and Hypomagnesaemia

In March 2011, an FDA Drug Safety Communication warned that long-term use of proton pump inhibitors had been associated with hypomagnesaemia (low serum magnesium levels). In many of the cases reviewed by the FDA, magnesium supplementation alone did not improve low serum magnesium levels and the PPI had to be discontinued.

Could PrevAcid be Associated with Dementia?

A study published in the JAMA Neurology in April 2016 suggested that regular use of proton pump inhibitors might increase a senior’s risk of dementia by 44%. The popular heartburn drugs are known to affect levels of two proteins that play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, amyloid beta and tau. The drugs have also been tied to B12 deficiency, which can lead to cognitive declines. Read More

Women May Benefit From Lower PrevAcid Dose

A study published in May 2016 suggested that women who used PrevAcid  and similar heartburn drugs would do just as well on lower doses. Published in the  Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, the study involved around 100 patients, half male and half female, who were taking proton pump inhibitors for  erosive esophagitis. During the experiment, half were treated with a reduced dose for an 8 week period. According to the authors of the report, women were three times more likely to tolerate the lower dosage compared to men. Read More

FDA Adds New Side Effect Information to All PPI Labels

In 2014, the FDA partially granted a petition filed by Public Citizen that sought the addition of new safety information to all prescription PPI labels. As a result, the following side effects are now noted on PPI labels:

  • Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Acute interstitial nephritis (Kidney inflammation)
  • Recommended treatment length for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Drug interactions with methotrexate (a cancer drug that can remain in the body and become toxic) and mycophenolate mofetil
  • Drug interactions with Plavix (clopidogrel), a blood-thinner that may be less effective in patients on heartburn drugs
  1. FDA (2012) “PrevAcid – Highlights of Prescribing Information”
  2. WebMD (2009) “Heartburn Drug Prevacid Goes Over the Counter”
  3. PLOS One (2015) “Proton Pump Inhibitor Usage and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction in the General Population”
  4. JAMA: Internal Medicine (2016) “Proton Pump Inhibitor Use and the Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease”
  5. FDA (2010) “FDA Drug Safety Communication: Possible increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine with the use of proton pump inhibitors”
  6. FDA (2011) FDA Drug Safety Communication: Low magnesium levels can be associated with long-term use of Proton Pump Inhibitor drugs (PPIs)


Last Modified: July 27, 2016

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