ZocdocAnswersHow long do I need to be off Prevacid before my body can absorb all the vitamins necessary again?

Question

How long do I need to be off Prevacid before my body can absorb all the vitamins necessary again?

I am a 39 year old female. My ulcer is located in my duodenum. I still have the ulcer, but my doctor told me not to take the prevacid everyday anymore. He said to take it only when I need to. So I now take it about 3 times a week. I heard that your body cant absorb all the vitamins it needs because of this medication.

Answer

Proton pump inhibitors medications like Prevacid (lansoprazole) are strong inhibitors of the stomach's acid production. As such, they are an important part of early treatment of stomach and duodenal ulcers, where they help to speed healing. It sounds like your gastroenterologist now thinks that your ulcer has healed sufficiently that you do not need to take the medication on a daily basis, which is good news. Although Prevacid and medications like it are generally quite safe, there are a few side effects that your doctor monitors for. One of these is that occasionally these medications can cause impaired absorption of vitamin B12 in the body, which can lead to anemia and other problems. Similarly, there is some evidence regarding risk for osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related bone fractures. This may be because of impaired absorption or handling of calcium and vitamin D and, for this reason, some doctors will prescribe these supplements to people who are taking medications like Prevacid for a long time. Please speak with your primary care doctor or your gastroenterologist about your concerns about Prevacid related vitamin deficiencies. They will be able to tell you whether or not you need to take any vitamin supplements or perform any testing to look for deficiencies.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.