One serious side effect of when you take omeprazole is suffering from joint pain. You might get joint pain along with red skin rash on parts of your body exposed to the sun due to o subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Many studies revealed that the symptoms of joint pains caused by omeprazole disappeared two weeks after stopping the administration of omeprazole.
What is joint pain?
- You might suffer from joint pain along with red skin rash on parts of your body exposed to the sun concurrently with omeprazole administration. This is a rare but serious side effect of omeprazole called Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE).
- Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) is recognized as an alternative to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It is characterized by typical skin lesions, joint or muscle pain, and occasionally arthritis (Ref).
- Serious systemic manifestations may affect the central nervous system and kidneys, but this is rarely observed. Most patients with SCLE are strongly photosensitive.
Why does Omeprazole cause joint pain?
Joint pain or discomfort could appear concurrently with omeprazole administration which is considered as a symptom of the Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus which is reported as a rare but serious side effect of omeprazole administration (Ref).
A woman 27 years old developed swelling of her fingers, knees, and ankles, purities, and erythema over her metacarpal joint after 10 days of taking omeprazole (Ref.).
A 71-year-old man with long-term treatments with diclofenac, tramadol, methotrexate, and fluoride for polyarthritis. He was taking ranitidine also. He felt increased joint pain two days after replacing ranitidine with omeprazole. However, joint pain disappeared after stopping omeprazole (Ref).
A recent study published in 2022 reported that the administration of omeprazole, similar to other PPIs such as Esomeprazole and Rabeprazole, developed joint pain. Moreover, patients who administered omeprazole and rabeprazole suffered from some other musculoskeletal side effects such as spasms of the hands and feet, muscle aches, and flank pain. However, only patients who used omeprazole had numbness-like musculoskeletal side effects.
There are several drugs have been reported to induce SCLE. This includes the following:
- Antihypertensive drugs include thiazides, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI), and calcium channel blockers.
- Antifungal agents such as terbinafine griseofulvin
- Some proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as lansoprazole and pantoprazole.
- Biologics include TNFα inhibitors.
Will joint pain go away after stopping omeprazole?
Several studies showed that joint pain related to omeprazole administration is resolved in a few days following stopping the administration of omeprazole.
A study showed that the symptoms of joint pain that developed following 10 days of omeprazole administration were stopped two weeks after stopping omeprazole administration.
Another study showed that two weeks of omeprazole administration results in polyarthralgia (pain in multiple joints). These symptoms of joint pain were resolved 18 days after omeprazole withdrawal (Ref).
Does omeprazole affect arthritis?
The long-term use of omeprazole and other PPIs may be associated with Rheumatoid arthritis through disturbance of your intestinal microbial community (Ref).
Recent studies have reported a large impact of omeprazole and other PPIs on the gut microbiome. This is due to the strong gastric acid suppression in the lower gastrointestinal tract environment (Ref.).
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune joint disease that has been implicated in cartilage and bone damage.
Studies in humans showed that an imbalance in the gut microbial community could promote Rheumatoid arthritis progression. Moreover, the inflammation that is caused by certain intestinal microbes like P. copri, may contribute to the persistence of arthritis (Ref.).
A study published in 2013, evaluated the association of PPI use with the risk of community-acquired pneumonia. In this study, the risk of Rheumatoid arthritis was also evaluated, and results showed a positive association between PPI use and Rheumatoid arthritis.
A prospective cohort study published in 2020 showed that the regular use of PPI was associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis, with a higher risk observed in patients with a longer duration of use.
What are the side effects of taking omeprazole?
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) including omeprazole are among the top 10 most commonly prescribed medications worldwide.
- Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that is widely used to treat heartburn, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, eradication of Helicobacter pylori, and gastric and peptic ulcer diseases.
- It is associated with some side effects including headache and gastrointestinal disturbances (reported in 5% of patients), and rashes (reported in less than 1% of patients). However, serious side effects such as red skin rash (especially areas of your body that are exposed to the sun such as your arms, cheeks, and nose) and joint pain which is a rare condition known as Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) are rarely reported with omeprazole (Ref).
Side effects of omeprazole can be classified as common side effects and serious but rare side effects:
Common side effects of omeprazole include the following:
Serious side effects of omeprazole include the following:
- Joint pain due to subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus
- Liver problem: Omeprazole can affect liver function leading to liver problems, damage of liver tissue, and may lead to liver failure.
- Allergic reactions
- Decrease in the levels of magnesium in case of omeprazole administration for more than 3 months.
Long-term administration of omeprazole may lead to (Ref):
- Increase your chance of developing bone fractures (hip and spine fractures).
- Omeprazole may reduce the absorption of calcium and thus decrease calcium blood levels. As a result, your body balances this decreased blood calcium levels by releasing more calcium from your bones leading to osteoporosis and increased risk of bone fracture. So, it is important to receive adequate calcium and vitamin D supply.
- Gastrointestinal infections due to the prolonged low acid levels in your stomach. Clostridium difficile infection to the colon may occur leading to severe diarrhea.
- Atrophic gastritis which means swelling and irritation of the stomach lining results in malabsorption of some nutrients.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency due to the low acid levels in your stomach decreases the absorption of vitamin B12.
- Decrease iron absorption leads to iron deficiency and a decrease in the concentration of zinc, selenium, and copper.
Joint pain is a rare but serious side effect of omeprazole due to subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus.
Joint pain caused by omeprazole administration is commonly resolved a few days after stopping omeprazole administration.
The long-term use of PPIs could be associated with rheumatoid arthritis through disturbance of your intestinal microbial community due to the suppression of gastric acid production.
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