Prilosec Side Effects

Long-term users of Prilosec may be at risk for serious side effects, including kidney failure and other renal complications. Research has also linked this and other proton pump inhibitors to an increased risk of heart attack and dementia.

Known Prilosec Side Effects

Prilosec, the world’s first proton pump inhibitor, has been one of the leading heartburn treatments since 1989. Common side effects associated with its use include:

  • Fever
  • Cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat
  • Stomach pain
  • Gas
  • Nausea, vomiting, mild diarrhea
  • Headache

More serious complications may include:

  • C. diff infection
  • B12 deficiency
  • Low magnesium levels
  • Acute interstitial nephritis (kidney inflammation)
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Abnormal liver function tests
  • Bone fractures
  • Drug interactions
  • Prilosec overdose

Emerging Research on Proton Pump Inhibitors

Recent studies of Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors suggest that extended use of the drugs may be associated with:

  • A 44% increased risk of developing dementia
  • 20-to 50% increased risk for chronic kidney disease
  • Double the risk of kidney failure
  • An increased risk of heart attack


Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors is known to impact levels of amyloid beta and tau, two proteins that play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. B12 deficiency, another possible Prilosec side effect, can lead to cognitive declines. In April 2016, research published in JAMA Neurology suggested that seniors who use proton pump inhibitors were 44% more likely to suffer from dementia compared with those not receiving the medications.  Read More

Kidney Disease and Kidney Failure

Acute interstitial nephritis, a sudden inflammation of the kidney tubules, is recognized as a possible side effect of Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors. Untreated, this condition can progress to kidney disease and renal failure.

In 2016, two major studies raised concern that long-term use of proton pump inhibitors could be dangerous to the kidneys:

  • January 2016: According to a report in JAMA: Internal Medicine, patients who use a proton pump inhibitors twice per day may be 46% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease. Patients who used the drugs just once per day may face 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

Heart Attack

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.

Legal Help for Those Harmed by Prilosec Side Effects

There is legal help available for victims of kidney side effects that may be associated with Prilosec. 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: June 9, 2016

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