Prevacid is a drug mainly used to suppress the production of acid in the stomach. However, it may induce some side effects in certain individuals. The following article provides some information on the side effects of this drug.
Prevacid is widely recommended to treat an array of problems, arising due to stomach acid. It is used to treat stomach ulcers, as well as intestine ulcers, and also to reverse the effects of erosive esophagitis, which is caused due to extensive damage of esophagus by stomach acid. It also helps to cure Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, which is a condition resulting from overproduction of stomach acid.
The Working Mechanism
Prevacid belongs to a class of drugs named as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI). These drugs block the enzymes which are responsible for acid production in the walls of the stomach. The other drugs in this class are rabeprazole (Aciphex), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), and esomeprazole (Nexium). This drug reduces the production of acid, thereby allowing the stomach and esophagus to heal automatically. Thus, the drug is effective in treating all sorts of stomach ulcers, originating from the overproduction of acid.
Common Side Effects
The side effects of the drug are mild, and may not need medical intervention.
- Diarrhea – up to 3.8 percent of people report mild to severe diarrhea.
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain) – up to 2.1 percent people report stomach pain as a side effect.
- Nausea – up to 1.3 percent.
- Constipation – up to 1 percent.
The other side effects, of which the affected people are often warned beforehand, include:
- Dry mouth
- Flu-like symptoms
- Nausea or vomiting
- Trouble sleeping
- Runny nose
Rare Side Effects
The rare side effects are the ones that are reported by less than 1 percent of affected people who take the drug. These side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Joint or muscle pain
- Pain or burning while urinating
- Signs of liver damage (symptoms include yellowing of skin or whites of the eyes, abdominal pain, brown urine, tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite, light-colored stools, etc.)
- Sinus pain
- Skin rash
- Sore throat
- Vision or hearing changes
Serious Side Effects
In extreme and rare cases, the drug may induce some highly dangerous side effects. The following conditions need immediate medical intervention.
- Chest pain
- Severe diarrhea with blood or mucus
- Signs of a serious allergic reaction (swelling of the face or throat, hives, or difficulty in breathing)
- Signs of a severe skin reaction (high fever, skin rash, sores, skin peeling off, painful blisters on the skin, mouth, or the eyes)
The use of the drug by pregnant women or lactating mothers is not recommended. It is only prescribed in the cases where benefits outweigh the risks involved. Also, small children should not be given this drug, as its effects on children are yet to be established. However, it can be given to the older children for a maximum of 12 weeks, as a treatment for acid reflux disease (GERD).
The side effects of prevacid are pretty uncommon, as most people show good tolerance towards it. However, on observation of the aforementioned symptoms, one should not hesitate to consult a doctor.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.