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What Vitamin Deficiencies May Be Caused by Prevacid?

By Robin Wood-Moen

Prevacid, or lansoprazole, is a proton pump inhibitor. Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia lists this drug as prescribed in the treatment of aspiration pneumonia and gastroesophageal problems like peptic ulcers and acid reflux. As with any medication, there can be canceling effects that cause deficiencies or prevent other drugs from working properly. A blood test may be necessary to determine the extent of any absorption or deficiency issue. It is imperative to bring a list of symptoms, medications and over-the-counter supplements to a consult with a licensed health practitioner who can make suggestions on a case-by-case basis. Self-medicating for a serious medical condition is strongly cautioned against, as this could be fatal.

Vitamin B12

Prevacid use can decrease available vitamin B12 as well as block the absorption of any remaining in the intestines. Vitamin B12 is an essential part of brain, nerve and blood cell function in the body. It is generally found to be plentiful in the American diet, with high consumption of fish, meat and dairy products. However, the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements posit that individuals with chronic gastrointestinal disease, the elderly and strict vegetarians seem to exhibit this deficiency more frequently. Anemia, a condition resulting from extended periods of vitamin B12 deficiency, can result from medications, malabsorption and stomach surgeries and drugs used to combat acid reflux. Supplementation is a common way to correct the problem, in addition to permanent lifestyle and dietary changes.

Vitamin D With Calcium

Prevacid is now being labeled with a black box warning related to bone loss. Apparently, long-time users of this medication have a higher rate of fractures to the hip, wrist and spine and may benefit from supplementation. Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia further suggests that individuals over the age of 50 that have been using this drug for a year or more may want to consider other options that could possibly decrease or discontinue use when weighed with the higher risks of falls and broken bones. Supplementation with vitamin D and calcium may or may not be a feasible option, as this would need to be discussed further with the attending physician.


Iron is a mineral found in the red blood cells of the body. Most individuals eat enough meat, poultry, leafy greens, fish and legumes to avoid becoming anemic. The anemia resulting from prolonged periods of vitamin B12 deficiency can also result in an iron deficiency. Most individuals must take Prevacid on a daily basis and should not discontinue its use without weighing the benefits with the risks. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, in the treatment of gastroesophageal problems, this may translate to the inability to eat or keep food down if the medicine is stopped. If the medication is used for more than a year, the malabsorption of iron can cause a host of other serious medical conditions to include cancer. Supplementation is one way of correcting the problem, however it must be under the strict supervision of the attending physician.

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