Should I worry about taking Nexium?

I have been taking Nexium for 18 months. The television advertisement for Nexium says it might cause osteoporosis. Should I worry about taking Nexium?

Studies of large groups of men and women and even populations of entire countries have found an association of fractures with proton pump inhibitors. Nexium is the most commonly prescribed proton pump inhibitor or PPI in the US. Other common PPIs include brand name Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix. Generic omeprazole is another. You may also find some of these names in the aisles of your drug store but in a lower strength.

Use of PPIs for 5 to 7 years is associated with a higher risk of fractures, including those of the hip, spine, and wrist. Although the link of PPIs and fractures has been fairly consistent across these studies, this “observational” type of study is unable to establish cause and effect.

Many times you are started on this type of medicine but may not need it long-term. Talk with your doctor about stopping, lowering your dose, or trying another approach for your symptoms.