Can Taking Nexium for Too Long Cause Problems?

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Many people suffer from excess acid in the stomach, or acid reflux. It can be a painful condition, especially for the throat and esophagus. Too much acid can eventually cause erosion in the lining of your stomach and other tissues and in some cases, can lead to esophageal cancer. Nexium is a medication used to treat acid reflux.

Nexium

  • Nexium is a medication taken to reduce the production of acid in the stomach. It is used to treat problems such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, erosive esophagitis and other stomach acid-producing problems.

Side Effects

  • Most medications come with side effect warnings. Nexium also can produce side effects in some people. The most common side effects are: constipation, diarrhea, getting a dry mouth, abdominal gas, headache, nausea or stomach pain. There is also the risk of a much more serious allergic reaction.

Longterm Side Effects

  • Nexium has the potential to interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12. This can lead to a problem known as pernicious anemia, which is the inability to absorb the vitamin. Taking B12 injections or supplements of B12 can prevent further deficiency and consequences.

Studies

  • A study conducted for one year of treatment with Nexium revealed no significant changes in the gastric endocrine cells. However, a test conducted monitoring rats on Nexium for 24 months revealed findings of cancerous cells in the gastric mucous, or stomach lining. Long-term treatment with Nexium in elderly people does not show any significant changes.

Considerations

  • Everybody reacts differently to medications. What one person may be able to take, another person may have an adverse reaction to. Although studies may show that a medication is safe to take long term, there is always the risk that you may develop a problem with the medication. You should always talk to your doctor about any risks related to taking a medication long term.

References

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