Go Ad-Free
logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Acid Suppressants May Lower B12 Levels

Q. I heard that people on acid-reflux drugs like Prilosec may need extra vitamin B12. How much vitamin B12 do you need when taking Prilosec on a daily basis? Some days I take two pills of Prilosec if my acid reflux is acting up.

A. Acid-suppressing drugs (Aciphex, Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix) can make it much harder to absorb vitamin B12 from food. This can eventually lead to a deficiency of this crucial nutrient. Symptoms may be subtle and include loss of appetite, constipation, depressed mood, confusion and weakness in arms and legs.
People who take these strong acid-blocking drugs for four years or more should have their vitamin B12 levels monitored. If your doctor finds that your B12 level is low and your homocysteine and methylmalonic acid levels are high, an oral supplement of 1000 micrograms (1 mg) of vitamin B12 daily may correct the problem.

Rate this article
1- 1 rating
About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
Tired of the ads on our website?

Now you can browse our website completely ad-free for just $5 / month. Stay up to date on breaking health news and support our work without the distraction of advertisements.

Browse our website ad-free
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.