People taking heartburn drugs could have higher risk of death, study claims
Research suggests people on proton pump inhibitors are more likely to die than those taking different antacid or none at all
Millions of people taking common heartburn and indigestion medications could be at an increased risk of death, research suggests.
The drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), neutralise the acid in the stomach and are widely prescribed, with low doses also available without prescription from pharmacies. In the UK, doctors issue more than 50m prescriptions for PPIs every year.
Now researchers say the drugs can increase risk of death, both compared with taking a different type of acid suppressant and not taking any at all.
“We saw a small excess risk of dying that could be attributed to the PPI drug, and the risk increased the longer they took them,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, an epidemiologist from the University of Washington and co-author of the study.
Everything you ever wanted to know about indigestion (but were too bloated to ask)
The team say the study suggests those who take the drugs without needing to could be most at risk. They urged people taking PPIs to check whether this was necessary.
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Tuesday 4 July 2017
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