A class of popular medicines is supposed to make life more comfortable for those with heartburn and ulcers, but they may actually be causing irreversible harm. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) block the production of acid in the stomach, but they have also been linked to a whole host of other health problems.
Popular Heartburn Medicines Linked to Kidney Disease, Stroke, Dementia
You may have some of these drugs in your medicine cabinet right now. First introduced in the 1980s, PPIs were originally reserved only for those with severe cases of heartburn. However, they soon became mass-marketed products that were touted as a convenient way to stop heartburn before it starts.
The FDA approved many of these medications for over-the-counter sales. That has meant patients could be relying on manufacturer advertisements to determine whether to take a PPI, rather than on the advice of their doctor. Sales of Proton Pump Inhibitors, included the following brands, has reached the billions:
There are also generic forms of these brand name drugs, and patients can know they are taking a PPI if their generic drug ends in –prazole.
Far from being completely harmless, the use of PPIs can come with a laundry list of potentially devastating side effects.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine reported in 2016 that users of PPIs are 20-50% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease than non-users.
JAMA Neurology also published a study in 2016 that found seniors regularly taking PPIs had a “significantly increased risk of incident dementia” compared to those not taking the medication.
At the 2016 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, data was presented that showed the risk of a first time stroke increases as much as 94% for some PPI users.
And that’s not all.
Proton Pump Inhibitors have also been linked to:
- Increased risk of bone fractures
- Increased risk pneumonia and diff infections
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Dangerous drug interactions
Patients have only recently been warned about these dangerous side effects, and yet some people have been taking PPIs for decades.
Did pharmaceutical companies do enough to warn patients about potential side effects?
Or did they sweep concerns under the rug to make way for more profits?
That’s a matter for the courts to decide, but if manufacturers are found liable, they may be required to compensate patients. Those affected could receive payments for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Have you experienced a negative side effect that may be attributed to a PPI?
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Association of Proton Pump Inhibitors With Risk of Dementia, JAMA Neurology, April 2016
Proton Pump Inhibitors: Dangerous and Habit-Forming Heartburn Drugs, Public Citizen Health Letter, September 2011
Proton-pump inhibitors, Harvard Health Letter, April 2011
Proton Pump Inhibitor Use and the Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease, JAMA Internal Medicine, April 2016
Proton Pump Inhibitors May Increase First-Time Stroke Risk, Alicia Ciccone, CardiologyAdvisor, November 16, 2016