Should you still be on a prescription acid reducing medication for acid reflux or heartburn?
They go by the names of : Dexilant, Nexium, Tecta, Pantoloc, Pariet, Losec
Did You Know: that people are often prescribed proton pump inhibitors (acid reducers) for heartburn or acid reflux for LONGER than is necessary? The most common reason to prescribe, such as gastrointestinal acid reflux disease (GERD) requires short term treatment (up to 4 to 8 weeks). However, chronic use of these powerful drugs appears to be problematic . And taking them for long periods may put patients at risk of serious adverse effects.
If you are currently taking a proton pump inhibitor, these drugs may put you at risk of serious life threatening side effects while at the same time creating worsening gastrointestinal problems, disrupting the function of your stomach, bowel and gut .You may be at risk of : impaired Vitamin B12 absorption causing fatigue or memory issues, low magnesium possibly causing muscle cramping, shaking and irregular heartbeats, hip fractures, pneumonia, Clostridium difficile infection which may lead to severe diarrhea, fever and in rare cases, death, and chronic kidney disease.
Are these drugs still right for you? Let us help to answer this question.
Nutrichem is proud to partner with the research team at the Elizabeth Bruyere Centre to educate patients and deprescribe these medications where appropriate. Our jobs as health professionals is to ensure that patients do NOT take medications that can adversely affect their health and quality of life.
Please ask us how Nutrichem can help you with your stomach issues!!
Call 613-721-3669 to get started.
NutriChem Deprescribing Programs:
Our deprescribing programs focus on reducing or discontinuing inappropriate medications. We work collaboratively with patients’ other healthcare providers to optimize our patients’ drug regimens for maximum benefit and minimal harm. A standard 1-hour deprescribing consultation and follow-up with one of our deprescribing pharmacists is $200.00.
Polypharmacy is defined as the use of 5 or more medications and/or the use of inappropriate drugs or dosages. In this program, we aim to reduce the quantity and/or dosages of inappropriate medications.
Elderly patients are the biggest drug users and the most common polypharmacy patients. According to a 2012 seniors survey, 27% of Canadian seniors are taking 5 or more medications on a regular basis. These high rates of polypharmacy put older patients at an elevated risk of adverse events and drug interactions. In this program, we aim to reduce inappropriate medications as much as possible, and also to minimize side effects from prescription drugs.
Chronic Pain Deprescribing
This program focuses on reduction of inappropriate or contraindicated drugs in chronic pain syndromes, such as fibromyalgia. We aim to provide safer alternatives to opioid medications in particular.
We are currently experiencing an opioid crisis across Canada. Yet, the prescribing of opioid medications continues to increase. This program aims to reduce the usage of prescription drugs, such as opioids, and non-prescription drugs, such as alcohol.
Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Deprescribing
PPIs are the 3rd most prescribed class of medications in Canada, yet they are rarely indicated for use beyond 3 months. It is estimated that 8% of the Canadian population is currently taking a PPI. Many of these prescriptions are inappropriate and when patients try to stop them, they experience rebound reflux that can prevent discontinuation. We work with naturopaths and holistic nutritionists to help heal the gut nutritionally while lowering your PPI dosage gradually to avoid side effects.
Many people use benzodiazepines or benzo-like drugs (e.g. zopiclone, zolpidem) for extended periods for anxiety and/or sleep. However, these medications are not indicated for use over extended periods of time and have significant withdrawal syndromes associated with them, making their discontinuation difficult and potentially dangerous. We work with patients’ healthcare providers to taper down benzodiazepine dosages while providing safer alternatives for anxiety and sleep.
For mild to moderate depression and certain anxiety disorders, evidence exists for benefit of several alternatives to commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs. Though many patients derive some benefit from SSRIs and SNRIs, many others tolerate them poorly and experience a lot more side effects than benefit. We can provide tapering regimens for coming off of antidepressants and alternative treatment options for mild depression and anxiety.
Medical Cannabis Consultations (*NEW!*)
The medical cannabis consultations focus on using cannabinoids in a targeted therapeutic approach for treating patients’ specific medical conditions. When used correctly, cannabis can be a very safe and effective alternative for patients with chronic pain, anxiety, or sleep issues. Adam Livingston, PharmD, also specializes in medication deprescribing, and cannabis is one of the most powerful tools for reducing or stopping potentially harmful prescription drugs, such as opioids. If you have tried multiple prescription drugs for your condition(s) without results, you may be an appropriate candidate for medical cannabis. Contact NutriChem today if you are interested in access to the Canadian medical cannabis system and ongoing guidance for medical cannabis therapy.
*Please consult your health care professional before stopping any medication.