What is Prevacid®?
Prevacid® is a proton pump inhibitor. The generic name is Lansoprazole. Proton pump inhibitors are designed to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach by "shutting off" the cells in the stomach lining which produce it. The prescription form of the drug is manufactured by Takeda pharmaceuticals. The drug is also available an over the counter form as Prevacid® 24HR manufactured by Novartis Consumer Health Inc. Prevacid® is also available in a combination drug called Prevacid® NapraPAC, which is essentially a bundle of Lansprazole and Naproxen.
Uses for Prevacid®
Prevacid® is most often prescribed to treat chronic heartburn. Other uses include the treatment of:
- Gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD) more commonly called acid reflux disease
- Erosive esophagitis (erosion of the lining of the throat due to contact with stomach acid)
- Ulcers in the stomach or duodenum
- H. Pylori infections (bacteria that cause ulcers in the stomach and intestines)
- Chronic conditions such as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome where the stomach constantly produces excess acid
Prevacid® is most often prescribed in 15 mg dissolvable tablets called solutabs. However, the doses can be doubled (15 mg tablets twice per day) depending on the condition which the drug is being used to treat.
Because Prevacid® is most commonly used to treat chronic conditions, it may be prescribed as a the primary drug in proton inhibitor therapy — the regular and continuous use of a PPI to maintain a more normal level of stomach acid.
Side Effects of Prevacid®
Prevacid® is generally regarded as safe, however, the drug may cause a wide variety of side effects. Many may be minor nuisances but some may be serious, even fatal if not addressed properly. The minor side effects of Prevacid® include:
- Diegstive upset (constipation/diarrhea/nausea)
- Stomach or chest pain
- Changes in weight (loss or gain)
- Mild to severe dizziness
Other more serious side effects of Prevacid® include:
- Allergic reactions including the swelling of throat and eyes
- Erectile dysfunction
- Increased risk of bone fractures
In addition, Prevacid® may interfere or adversely react with a wide variety of drugs including alcohol, heart medication, HIV medication, and drugs that require a certain amount of acid in the stomach for absorption. Also, observational studies have shown that extended PPI therapy (including use of Prevacid®) is linked to increased instances of bone fracture, especially in patients over 50 years old.
While there have been no studies of Prevacid® use in pregnant mothers, nursing mothers should not take the drug (or stop nursing if they must take the drug). Lansoprazole has been shown to carry through breast milk and cause cancerous tumors in lab rats.
Contact a Prevacid® Attorney
If you have taken Prevacid® and experienced any of the side effects, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. For more information, contact a Prevacid attorney today.