Researchers have just come to an alarming conclusion about a very common type of heartburn medication used by millions.
If you take medicine for heartburn, an alarming new report may give you pause before you reach for that pill the next time you feel stomach acid in your throat. A new paper from researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine has determine that popular heartburn drugs commonly known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are associated with a higher risk of death.
PPIs are a very common prescription for heartburn sold under a number of brand names, but the report claims they may be associated with damaging effects on the body. PPIs neutralize acid in the stomach, and have been approved for general use, but the paper determined that when compared to a different kind of acid suppressant or nothing at all, there was an increased risk of death.
Other concerns have been raised about PPIs, including an association with kidney disease, pneumonia, or even the potentially deadly bug C. difficile.
“Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia,” the university statement reads. “Now, a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that longtime use of the drugs also is associated with an increased risk of death.
“Millions of U.S. residents take proton pump inhibitors which are widely prescribed to treat heartburn, ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems. The drugs also are available over the counter under brand names that include Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium.”