Acid Reflux Drugs Increase Risk Of Fractures

Studies Report That Acid Reflux Drugs Up Fractures

Proton-pump inhibitors — the popular acid reflux drugs that fight stomach acid — increase the risk of hip fractures, a U.S. study shows

The acid reflux drugs are Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec (called Losec in Europe), and Protonix. The drugs shut down the chemical “pump” needed by stomach cells to make acid. They are very effective for treating GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease).

Acid Reflux Drugs image

That makes the acid-fighting drugs very popular. Together they rang up nearly $13 billion in U.S. sales in 2005 — a year in which American doctors wrote more than 95 million prescriptions for the drugs. Prilosec is now available over the counter.

These Acid Reflux Drugs have been shown to cause ANEMIA, bone loss, Aancer and much m0re

Now a new study shows that when taken long term the drugs may have a side effect: hip fracture. People over age 50 who take the drugs for more than 1 year have a 44% increased risk of breaking a hip; find University of Pennsylvania researchers Yu-Xiao Yang, MD, and colleagues.

Taking these acid reflux drugs proton-pump inhibitors at higher doses — and for longer periods — dramatically increases the risk. Long-term, high-dose use of these drugs ups the risk of hip fracture by 245%.

“Proton-pump inhibitor therapy is associated with a significantly higher risk of hip fractures, with the highest risk seen among those receiving high-dose proton-pump-inhibitor therapy,” Yang and colleagues conclude.

The findings appear in the Dec. 27, 2006 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Proton Pump Inhibitors and Calcium

Yang and colleagues analyzed medical records on patients treated in the U.K. between 1987 and 2003. The study included 13,556 patients with hip fractures and 135,386 patients without fractures.

After controlling for all variables — including a diagnosis of GERD — hip fractures were strongly associated with use of proton-pump inhibitors.

Another study found that using acid reflux drugs called proton pump inhibitors for at least seven years have been linked to increased risk of osteoporosis-related fractures.

That news comes from a Canadian study of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and osteoporosis-related fractures. PPIs are a class of drugs that include Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix

The study shows a link between long-term use of acid reflux drugs and greater likelihood of osteoporosis-related fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine.

Acid Reflux Drugs and Fractures

The study included 63,000 adults aged 50 and older in Manitoba, Canada, including nearly 15,300 who sustained an osteoporosis-related fracture of the hip, spine, or wrist from 1996 to 2004.

The researchers — who included the University of Manitoba’s Laura Targownik, MD, MSHS — checked participants’ prescription records.

People who suffered an osteoporosis-related fracture were almost twice as likely to have used an acid reflux drugs for at least seven years.

Hip fracture risk may have started earlier. People with hip fractures were 62% more likely to have used a PPI for at least five years.

PPIs increase fracture risk by inhibiting stomach acid, speeding up bone mineral loss, Targownik’s team speculates.

The researchers considered many factors, including participants’ other prescriptions, medical history, and income.

Here is a link to the lawsuit against the FDA concerning fracture risk and acid reflux drugs use.

That association “is certainly a strong basis for encouraging further investigation,” write the editorialists, who included J. Brent Richards, MD, of Canada’s McGill University.

The editorial states. “…liberal prescription of proton pump inhibitors for nebulous disorders for extended periods of time is likely worth revisiting.”


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