HeartBurn Medicines and Risk of Deaths

It is a common problem which affects almost everyone at a certain point in time. It happens due to acid reflux. In this condition, some of the contents of the stomach go back to the esophagus. This, in turn, creates a burning sensation in the lower chest. In certain patients, it is called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, especially if it happens more than two times in a week. It is estimated that more than 15 million people get heartburn every day. It affects people of all ages and lifestyle choices can play an important factor. If you smoke or do a low level of exercise or if you are obese, the chances of Heartburn is high.


There are many drugs available for heartburn and many people take them without any medical advice. Due to certain medicines, the risk of death has increases manifolds. It was found that individuals who use proton pump inhibitors have a more risk of death in the next five years, compared to people who took another type of medicines for heartburn. It was also found that the chances were even lesser for those who did not take any medicine for heartburn. The couple of prescription drugs Nexium and Prevacid belong to this group of medicines.

It is believed that more and more people are being prescribed a proton pump inhibitors or PPI as per the recent studies. The number stands at eight percent Americans. There are many over the counter proton pump inhibitors or PPI medicines available which have lower dosages of PPI. The more pressing concern is that more than 70 percent of the people who use proton pump inhibitors or PPI do not need them in the first place. Certain recent studies have established that medications can lead to many health problems and increased risk of bacterial infections and kidney disease. The common belief is that since the proton pump inhibitors or PPIs are readily available they are safe to use but they are not. Prolonged use of this drug can cause real problems, which is not good for human body.

In several studies, researchers have studied the data from millions of people. They compared the data of the people who were prescribed proton pump inhibitors or PPIs to that of people who were using another heartburn medication called H2 blocker and the people who did not take any medicine for the heartburn. It was done mostly to understand the risk and find a pattern among the patients. The findings were quite shocking. It was found that the risk of dying went up 25% for patients using proton pump inhibitors or PPIs when compared to people using H2 Blocker. The risk factor increased in patients who used the proton pump inhibitors or PPIs for a longer period of time.

All these studies, however, were observational and it could not be proved that the proton pump inhibitors or PPIs caused the deaths. It is imperative that people are aware of any such things and interact with their doctors for less usage of proton pump inhibitors or PPIs medicines.

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