Q. No one would ever suspect that I have just been diagnosed with osteopenia (weakened bones). I am a man in remarkably good health with blood results to kill for. I work out three times a week at the gym, 45 minutes of aerobics plus weight work.
I have read that PPI acid reducers can cause osteoporosis over time and wonder if that is my problem. I have been on mega-doses of these drugs for years to treat reflux.
The rheumatologist I saw yesterday prescribed Fosamax and calcium for the bone loss. He thinks that PPI use might have contributed if it interfered with the absorption of bone-building calcium.
The opinions I found online are divided. Can PPIs lead to osteopenia?
A. It’s no wonder you are confused about acid-suppressing drugs such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and omeprazole (Prilosec) and their link to bone loss. Experts are divided on this question.
We worry that such drugs may interfere with magnesium and potassium as well as calcium absorption. An article in the Journal of Digestive Diseases (Aug. 2014) reveals the serious consequences that can occur when PPIs lead to low magnesium levels. Symptoms may include muscle cramps, confusion, fatigue and depression.