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Increased Risk of Fractures, Infections May be Due to Popular Indigestion Relief
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), also known as acid blockers, are the third highest selling class of medications. Millions of people them them to relieve discomfort caused by ulcers, indigestion, and acid reflux, but new studies have found the benefits may not outweigh the risks of taking these medications long-term. Once only available through prescription, PPIs are commonly found these days in over-the-counter medications such as Prevacid, Prilosec, and Nexium.
While PPIs may be essential for sufferers of acid
Dr. Michael D. Howell, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, says, "We'd thought for many years that acid-suppressing medications were very safe. I don't think we can view these as completely safe medications anymore."
He and his team reviewed over 100,000 cases in a three year period. The patients who were prescribed PPI's had a 74% greater risk of developing an intestinal infection than those who were not prescribed a PPI. In an additional study, Dr. Shelly Gray of the University of Washington in Seattle found an increased risk of fracture in postmenopausal women who had taken PPIs for any length of time. And this isn't the first study producing such results.