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Medication Alert
April 7, 2011
Dear Valued Subscriber,
We felt this issue was important enough to send an alert. Please forward to anyone you know who is taking a proton pump inhibitor and make sure they test their serum magnesium levels.

Bonnie and Steve Minsky

Proton Pump Inhibitors

fdaThis is a crucial update to our continued reporting of the myriad side effects from proton pump inhibitor use (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex, etc.).

The FDA is warning physicians, pharmacists, and patients of low serum magnesium levels when proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are taken for over one year. The issue is much more serious than once believed.

 

The reason magnesium depletion is so severe is that it is a catalyst for over 300 bodily functions. While on the medication, magnesium levels cannot be replenished adequately with supplementation. And isn't it ironic that one of magnesium's major benefits is acid reduction.

If you are currently taking a proton pump inhibitor, talk to your doctor about weaning off of it slowly. If you have to take a substitute while doing so, it's okay. While weaning, look carefully for your individual foods that may trigger your symptoms, which usually include excess sugar, soft drinks, and hard to digest foods. If supplementing with magnesium, do not discontinue.

A much safer PPI alternative I often recommend to clients is a special sodium/potassium bicarbonate tablet that does not block or neutralize acid. It merely brings pH more into balance. However, it is not a supplement that should ever be taken without the supervision of a health professional.   

 

FDA Announcement for Long-Term Use of PPIs.