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August 23, 2011

This is an urgent alert for patients with gastroesophageal (acid) reflux disease and others who are using any of the following listed drugs, with total U.S. prescriptions of 120 million in 2009.

Public Citizen, the publisher of WorstPills.org, told the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today that many drugs widely prescribed to reduce stomach acid can cause dependence, are dangerous and should carry the strongest possible warning label, a black box warning.

These medications, known as proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, include:

  • Esomeprazole (brand name: NEXIUM)
  • Dexlansoprazole (DEXILANT)
  • Omeprazole (PRILOSEC and PRILOSEC OTC)
  • Omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate (ZEGERID and ZEGERID OTC)
  • Lansoprazole (PREVACID and PREVACID 24-HR)
  • Pantoprazole (PROTONIX)
  • Rabeprazole (ACIPHEX)
  • Naproxen and esomeprazole (VIMOVO)

The FDA has approved these drugs to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastric ulcers, erosive esophagitis and stomach bleeding associated with using anti-inflammatories, but there is ample evidence that these medications may do more harm than good for millions of other patients.

Read more about the other risks of these commonly used PPIs and our petition to the FDA to protect consumers.

If you are currently taking any of these medications, consult with your doctor before altering or discontinuing use.