A proton pump inhibitor (PPIs) is a type of drug prescribed for the purpose of reducing the production of gastric acid. These types of medication can, unfortunately, lead to dangerous side effects that result in lifelong damage.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, PPIs should not be taken more than three times a year, as more frequent use could result in serious injury. Are you taking this drug?

In a recent New York Times article, we learned that there is evidence that prolonged use of proton pump inhibitors, such as Prilosec, Prevacid, Zantac, Omeprazole, and Pepcid, can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin that is necessary for the production of energy from consumed foods, maintenance of healthy nerve cells and manufacture of healthy red blood cells. It is usually absorbed in the stomach with the help of a protein known as intrinsic factor. Blocking stomach acid causes vitamin B12 to be absorbed improperly from foods or supplements.

Patients with vitamin B12 deficiency experience pernicious anemia and neurological damage. Symptoms include:

  • Numbness and tingling
  • Lack of coordination
  • Headache
  • Mood changes
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Weakness

If you are someone who takes PPIs to treat chronic gastrointestinal disorders, may sure your doctor checks your B12 levels regularly. Low levels can lead to permanent neurological damage and severe pernicious anemia can damage the brain, heart and other vital body organs.

While medical studies have reported significant dangers associated with PPI use, there have been no recalls to date. Many physicians are recommending stronger warnings on PPI labels and are advising patients to increase their calcium and vitamin consumption while taking these drugs.

If you or someone you love was harmed by this type of dangerous drug, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and pain and suffering. To learn more about your legal options, please do not hesitate to call the personal injury law offices of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi. We can evaluate your case and determine whether or not litigation is your best recourse.

We have offices in Bergen County, New Jersey and New York City for your convenience.