GERD Home > What You Need to Know About Taking Zegerid Safely
Specific Precautions and Warnings With ZegeridSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Zegerid include the following:
- Studies indicate that people who take proton pump inhibitor medications (such as Zegerid) may be at an increased risk for broken bones. The risk appears to be highest for people who take such medications at high doses or for long periods (over a year). You and your healthcare provider should take this into account when deciding if the benefits of this medication outweigh the risks for your particular situation.
- The use of proton pump inhibitors (including this medication) may increase the risk of a potentially serious condition known as Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD). If you develop diarrhea that does not seem to improve (especially if it is watery and accompanied by a fever and abdominal pain), seek immediate medical attention.
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), including Zegerid, may cause low blood magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia). Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any symptoms of hypomagnesemia, such as muscle spasms, an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia), or seizures. Your healthcare provider may want to check your magnesium levels periodically using a simple blood test.
- For Zegerid OTC™ (the nonprescription version only), make sure to see a healthcare provider if you have any symptoms that suggest your heartburn may actually be a more serious problem. Some of these symptoms may include:
- Heartburn for more than three months
- Heartburn with lightheadedness, dizziness, or sweating
- Chest pain, shoulder pain, or any other heart attack symptoms
- Frequent wheezing, especially with heartburn
- Unexplained weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Needing to take Zegerid OTC for more than a 14-day course once every four months.
- Nonprescription Zegerid OTC is approved for a 14-day course of treatment, with repeated courses allowed once every four months. However, many people who take medications like Zegerid OTC need to take them on a long-term basis. There is no reason that Zegerid OTC cannot be used for a long-term basis, except that an evaluation by a healthcare provider is warranted, to rule out the possibility of more serious problems.
If your healthcare provider recommends that you take Zegerid OTC for longer than 14 days, you may completely disregard the label directions that warn against doing so.
- Some of the symptoms of heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are similar to stomach cancer symptoms. Just because Zegerid helps your symptoms does not rule out the possibility of stomach cancer.
- Zegerid can interact with other medications (see Zegerid Drug Interactions).
- Check with your healthcare provider before taking Zegerid if you have an electrolyte imbalance or acid-base imbalance, as the sodium carbonate in this medication could cause problems for you.
- Each Zegerid capsule provides about 300 mg of sodium. Each Zegerid powder packet provides 460 mg of sodium. This is important for people who are on a low-sodium diet.
- Zegerid is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that this medicine may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Zegerid during pregnancy (see Zegerid and Pregnancy).
- Zegerid passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Zegerid and Breastfeeding).