Researchers from the universities of Edinburgh and Tampere in Finland have reviewed medical data from 1.6 million patients and have found a 30% increase in child asthma in cases where the mother took PPI drugs such as Prilosec or Nexium during pregnancy.
While the study is careful not to say that these drugs cause asthma in children, they believe that further study of the link between the two is warranted.
Authors of the study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology linked PPI drugs such as Prilosec (omeprazole) and Nexium (esomeprazole) to a 30 percent increased risk for childhood asthma. H2 blockers such as Pepcid had a 46 percent increased risk. Some data also suggested an increase in skin allergy risk.
Scientists don’t know exactly why these drugs increase the risk for asthma, but it may be that the drugs interfere with the mother’s digestion. These undigested food allergens then pass on to the fetus.
PPI drugs such as Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid are some of the most popular drugs on the market and doctors write more than 20 million prescriptions for them each year. The asthma study review is the latest of several to link PPIs to a host of side effects including stomach infections, low magnesium levels fractures of the hip, spine and wrist, dementia, an increased risk of heart attacks, increase risk of strokes, and serious kidney disease. With all these side effects, it is a wonder why the FDA has not removed these drugs from the market. This class of drugs continue to be some of the most aggressively marketed due to their high profit margins and their popularity among doctors in spite of the well-documented side effects.
If you’ve been prescribed one of these drugs, it may be time to speak with your doctor and discuss these side effects. If you have legal questions after suffering an injury from these drugs, please feel free to contact Attorney Joseph Saunders for a free consultation.
Photo Credit by NIAID via Flickr