The FDA recently released a report warning consumers that long term (greater than one year) use of Proton Pump Inhibitors leads to risk of low magnesium blood levels. This condition is known as hypomagnesemia. Low levels of magnesium in the blood can lead to muscle spasm, irregular heartbeat, or seizures but you can have low blood magnesium levels and not have these symptoms.
In the studies the FDA used to look to determine the risk, 75% of patients who had low blood levels of magnesium could stay on the PPI but needed to take magnesium supplements. In the other 25%, the supplements didn’t help and they had to come off of the PPI. Once of the PPI the magnesium levels went back to normal after a week.
The risk is even greater in patients who take other prescriptions that also can cause low levels of magnesium such as digoxin, or diuretics. In addition, the risk was of more concern in the patients taking digoxin as it is a medication used for irregular heartbeats.
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