“Acid Reflux Drugs Linked to Dementia”

If you have been taking acid reflux drugs for a couple of years, you may have noticed your memory is slipping or that you have experienced unexplained pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in your arms or legs.  The drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), include lansoprazole (Prevacid), manufactured by Novartis, as well as esomeprazole (Nexium) and omeprazole (Prilosec), both manufactured by AstraZeneca.  PPIs used for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcers work by reduction of stomach acid production. Some PPIs are available without a prescription, but prescriptions are needed for long-term use. New research, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showed that certain acid reflux drugs are “significantly associated” with vitamin B12 deficiency.  In turn, vitamin B12 deficiency causes serious health consequences including anemia, osteoporosis, depression, memory loss, dementia, neuropathy and cardiovascular disease.  Researchers found repeated use of a certain class of drugs for gastric reflux or peptic ulcers was linked with a higher risk for dementia among patients in Germany.

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