But there are other PPI side effects that have raised alarm bells of late. According to the Houston Chronicle (7/11/13), PPI drugs such as Nexium can contribute to heart disease. “Our data shows that PPIs impair the ability of blood vessels to relax,” said Dr. John Cooke, chair of Houston Methodist Hospital’s cardiovascular services and the study’s principal investigator, in comments published in the Houston Chronicle. “It’s definitely concerning. Patients taking proton pump inhibitors may want to talk to their doctor about switching to another drug to protect their stomachs.”
According to the Houston Chronicle report, proton pump inhibitors work by suppressing the movement of protons into the intestine, reducing the amount of acid both in the intestine and stomach. But the drugs were also found to cause an increase in a chemical that suppresses the production of nitric oxide that serves to relax and protect arteries and veins.
In tissue cultures, Methodist researchers found proton pump inhibitors led to a 25 percent increase in the chemical that suppresses nitric oxide production.
Stanford University was, and continues to be, a partner with Houston Methodist in ongoing research, according to the report.
Fractures, meanwhile, continue to be a concern and an aspect of proton pump inhibitor side effects. A study published in BMJ (British Medical Journal) in January of last year revealed that postmenopausal women were at a 35 percent increased risk for hip fractures with PPI use, including Nexium hip fracture. That risk increased to 50 percent amongst smokers.
In 2011, The Annals of Family Medicine published a study authored by researchers who found that long-term users of Nexium and PPI were 30 percent more likely to suffer bone fractures than those study participants who did not use a PPI to combat their acid reflux.
READ MORE NEXIUM USE AND INCREASED RISK FOR FRACTURE LEGAL NEWS
According to the FDA, the potential for Nexium side effects increases if Nexium and other PPI drugs are used for longer than 12 weeks.
Meanwhile, according to various sources, there are as many as 47 Nexium and PPI lawsuits currently pending in multi-district litigation (In re: Nexium (Esomeprazole) Products Liability Litigation MDL 2404, US District Court for the Central District of California). These lawsuits include Lois Hornsby, et al. v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, et al.; CA No. 3:12-01307 in the Northern District of California; and James R. Biggers, et al. v. AstraZeneca, LP, et al.; CA No. 1:11-00062 Western District of Tennessee.