Commonly Prescribed Gastric Acid Drug May Increase Death Risk

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Long-term use of a popular class of drug called proton pump inhibitors (PPIS) has been linked to an increased risk of death.

The findings of the study highlights on use of PPIs resulting in various health problems such as kidney damage, bone fracture, and dementia. The authors of the current study report that patients should restrict PPI use and the amount of time patients take treatment. The study was published in BMJ journal in December 2017.

PPIs are designed to inhibit the secretion of gastric acid and are commonly prescribed to treat heartburn, ulcers, and other gastrointestinal problems. The results of the study are based on a the U.S national database of veteran medical records of more than 6 million people who had their health tracked for almost six years. The researchers examined data of 349,312 people who had been prescribed either a PPI or another class of acid suppressant called H2 blockers. Two additional analyses were performed, which include comparing PPI use to no PPI use among 3,288,092 people and one comparing PPI use to no use of either acid suppressant among 2,887,030 people.

Results of the study showed that PPI use was associated with a 25% increased risk of death from all causes, with this percentage increasing the longer people used PPIs for. A similar risk increase was seen for PPI use versus no use and for PPI use versus no use of either drug. Research team report that doctors perform re-assessments periodically to check whether people still need to be taking the drugs because in most cases, people stop using them for two or three years at a time.

According to Gastritis Treatment Market Report published by Coherent Market Insights, gastritis is usually caused by the bacteria helicobacter pylori or by the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. Researchers explain that people are prescribed PPIs for an appropriate medical indication, but then doctors do not stop prescribing them and patients receive ongoing refills.

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