How Did The Nexium Prilosec And PPI Dangers Remain Hidden For So Long?

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Executive Summary

  • Nexium and Prilosec were widely used for decades and were generally considered safe.
  • How did the health problems with these drugs remain hidden for so long?


  • PPIs or proton pump inhibitors are directed at pumps in the stomach that produce stomach acid and inhibit their activity.
  • Everyone is familiar with antacids like TUMS; PPIs are very powerful antacids that control the body’s ability to produce acid rather than merely buffering the acid with a base like calcium carbonate.
  • PPIs are blockbuster drugs that have been overmarketed, overprescribed, and taken for a long treatment by millions worldwide.
  • PPIs are an example of how the FDA and pharmaceutical companies conspired to have patients continue to use them, even though the problems with the long-term use of PPIs were well known.

We will cover how the use of PPIs got so out of hand.

Our References for This Article

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The History of PPIs

This video explains how information about highly problematic outcomes from this drug category has come to light. 

More on these problems are covered in this video, and it explains acid reflux is often incorrectly diagnosed. The video also states that PPIs significantly increase cancer incidence because any organ’s daily irritation increases the likelihood of cancer. 

There were also some excellent and eye-opening comments on this video. This first comment explains the effect on the digestive system.

25 year old male diagnosed with a hiatal hernia about 6 years ago. I was on ppi for years and it pretty much destroyed my digestive system through malabsorption and it caused inflammation due to causing random bouts sometimes back to back of either diarrhea or constipation. I tried getting off them one time and I burnt a hole in my esophagus but now I’m discovering how crucial your diet is to stomach acid. Eat clean and eat fiber, stay away from sugar and fried foods, have salmon, veggies and some meat once a week. Do not consume superfluous food only eat based on utility. I’ve been off ppi for a week or so now and my whole digestive system is out of wack but clearly returning to normal. On ppi I would use the bathroom multiple times a day…now without it and a proper diet I use the toilet once every two or three days and I pass full stool as opposed to diarrhea or skinny shards. Ppi has also caused me to have excruciating hemorrhoids due to how difficult it is to pass broken stool or diarrhea for weeks on end. As I dont overuse my bowels all day and I eat to supplement my intestinal health I have easier bowel movements that are even healing my hemmrhoids. I took ppi for a stomach hernia but I know others have actual chronic reflux that is not dependent on an anatomical problem but I urge everyone to explore their diet before giving in to a lifelong ppi subscription. It’s not worth it…many anti acid medications are criminally undocumented in how they cause cascading effects in your body and I have seen three gastro doctors none of which have actually explained all the side effects and in fact downplayed them as coming from erroneous studies.

And this one…

When my GP told me that I would need to stay on PPI for the rest of my life…first I got a new doctor…my new doctor, an osteopathic practitioner, told me to go on a dairy and gluten free diet. After just a few weeks on the new diet I was off the meds !

Find out WHY you have reflux before you take meds longterm !
Without acid in your stomach to extract the nutrients from your foods you will become deficient and develop all sorts of ailments.

This quote addresses the issue of PPI dependency.

Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect magazine, had experienced a few bouts of mild heartburn, when a particularly severe episode sent him to the emergency room. After his doctor prescribed Prilosec (omeprazole), a common heartburn therapy, he thought that this would resolve his condition. He never imagined that this drug — intended to treat his symptoms — would actually make them worse, and that he would become dependent for years on everincreasing doses of the medication in a dangerous cycle ending only after he stopped taking Prilosec and switched to other, safer therapies. This story is likely all too common among patients placed on a widely used class of medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) — Prilosec being the most common — which suppress stomach acid and are used to treat conditions such as heartburn and other, more severe illnesses. – Public Citizen

This quote is a sad story about what happened as a result of taking PPIs.