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The Effects of Long-Term Usage of Prilosec

By Esther Kinuthia RN BSN BA ; Updated August 14, 2017

Prilosec, also known by the generic name omeprazole, belongs to a class of medications known as proton pump inhibitors. Proton pump inhibitors are drugs used to suppress production of stomach acid. Prilosec is used to treat frequent heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Long-term use of Prilosec may cause several adverse side effects.

Bone Fractures

A fracture is a break in the continuity of the bone. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, long-term use of high doses of Prilosec may cause increased of fractures of the hip, wrist and spine. The risk of fractures is even greater in patients older than 50 years who have used Prilosec for a long-time. The FDA recommends that doctors prescribe low doses of Prilosec and for the shortest duration.

Liver Damage

According to Drugs.com, Prilosec is metabolized in the liver. The liver converts Prilosec into by products which can be easily excreted from the body. Constant exposure of the liver to high doses of Prilosec damages the liver leading to liver failure. Signs and symptoms of liver failure include nausea, right upper abdominal pain, clay colored stool and yellowing of the eyes and the skin.

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Esophageal Candidiasis

Esophageal candidiasis as the overgrowth of fungus in the esophagus. Stomach acid is important in preventing growth of fungus in the esophagus. According to Drugs.com, use of Prilosec for a long-time creates a favorable environment for the growth of fungus in esophagus as Prilosec blocks the production of acid in the stomach. Esophageal candidiasis causes painful swallowing which may lead to excess weight loss.

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