The medication Prilosec is a proton pump inhibitor or PPI, which means it shuts down the mechanism that produces acid in the stomach. Medications such as Prilosec have been widely used for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease and ulcers. Stomach acid however is needed to facilitate the body’s absorption of nutrients such as vitamin B-12, calcium carbonate and iron. The use of PPIs such as Prilosec interferes with the body getting valuable nutrients such as calcium and B-12; however, there is ongoing debate on PPIs’ interference with iron absorption.
If a person is taking a PPI such as Prilosec and wants to counteract the side effects of the medication, there are several things that they can do:
a. Receiving B-12 through food consumption is the way the body is normally supplied, however if the body is unable to absorb the vitamin B-12 through food it becomes deficient. To counteract the absorption issue caused by the PPI, vitamin B-12 can be taken in the pill form, which still allows for proper absorption by the body.
b. Taking calcium carbonate must have stomach acid in order for the proper amount of calcium to enter the body’s bloodstream. Stomach acid depletion causes the body then to be calcium deficient. Counteracting this effect produced by the PPI can be done by taking calcium citrate. Calcium citrate is another form of calcium that doesn’t require stomach acid for absorption into the body.
c Taking calcium, folate, and vitamin B6 also improves absorption naturally in the body and therefore will counteract absorption issues from PPI’s such as Prilosec.
d. Consuming cranberry juice has also been known to counteract stomach acid inhibitors such as Prilosec.
e. A proper diet and a complete vitamin supplement can also help make sure that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs when taking any PPI’s such as Prilosec.
People should be aware that Prilosec is commonly given in the generic form called Omeprazole, other PPI medications include Nexium, Prevacid, Aciphex and Protonix. All PPI’s can cause deficiencies and anyone taking these medications should be monitored for any nutritional problems that they can cause.
Prilosec should not be taken for long periods of time, talk to your physician if you have concerns. PPI’s are only meant to block the enzyme in the stomach that produces acid allowing the body to heal from ulcers and reflux disease.
Your medical professional should monitor any PPI medication such as Prilosec carefully to make sure your body gets all the necessary nutrients. However if you think you may be having problems with this medication or you feel as though you might be having some nutritional issues please see your physician for proper evaluation and any necessary medication changes.
References for this article include: www.medicinenet.com/proton-pump_inhibitors/article.htm