Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heartburn/GERD Health Center

Font Size

Nexium, Prilosec: No Heart Risks Seen

FDA Review Shows No Risk of Heart Attack, Heart Failure, or Heart-Related Sudden Death
WebMD Health News

Aug. 9, 2007 -- The FDA today reported that so far, it has found no signs of heart risks associated with long-term use of the drugs Prilosec and Nexium.

Prilosec and Nexium belong to a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. They work by reducing the amount of acid produced by the stomach.

Both drugs are used to treat conditions including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and stomach and duodenal ulcers. Prilosec is also sold over the counter for frequent heartburn.

The FDA is conducting an ongoing review of new safety data on Prilosec and Nexium, which are made by the drug company AstraZeneca.

"The FDA has concluded preliminarily that these data do not suggest an increased risk of heart problems in patients treated with either of these products," the FDA's Paul Seligman, MD, MPH, told reporters today.

"At this time, we are recommending that health care providers and patients do not alter either their prescribing practices or taking of these drugs," says Seligman, who is the associate director of the Office of Safety Policy and Communication at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Seligman says the FDA has been in touch with regulators in the U.K, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, who have reached similar conclusions about Prilosec and Nexium.

However, the FDA hasn't finished its review of the Prilosec and Nexium data. The FDA plans to complete its review within three months.

Prilosec, Nexium Data

On May 29, AstraZeneca informed the FDA of early results from a long-term study of Prilosec and an analysis of an ongoing study on Nexium. Both studies included patients with severe GERD.

In the Prilosec study, which lasted for 14 years, patients took Prilosec or got surgery to treat their severe GERD. In the ongoing Nexium study, patients took Nexium or got surgery to treat their GERD.

"In these studies, AstraZeneca was attempting to ascertain whether drug therapy with either of these drugs or surgery was most effective in relieving and preventing recurrence of symptoms of severe GERD," says Seligman.

The data raised concerns that long-term use of Prilosec or Nexium may have increased the risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and heart-related sudden death in those patients taking either one of those drugs, compared to patients who received surgery.

Today on WebMD

Woman eating pizza
How it starts, and how to stop it.
man with indigestion
Get lifestyle and diet tips.
woman shopping for heartburn relief
Medication options.
man with heartburn
Symptoms of both.
digestive health
Heartburn or Heart Attack
Top 10 Heartburn Foods
Is it Heartburn or Gerd
digestive myths
Extreme Eats
graphic of esophageal area