PPIs and Heart Disease

PPIsIf you are among the millions of people who take a PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor) every day to prevent heartburn, you need to know about this study.

Common Acid Reflux Drugs Associated With Increased Risk for Heart Attacks – (read more)

 

For decades Americans been subjected to aggressive ad campaigns for the “little purple pill” and its relatives. Many PPIs are now available over-the-counter, and countless heartburn sufferers have come to depend on one or more of these powerful acid reducing medications to “put out the fire.”

PPIs OTCFor several years we’ve known about the link between PPIs and heart disease in patients taking Plavix®, a commonly prescribed medication to prevent blood clots, but the risk now appears to extend to a much broader group of patients. According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Houston Methodist and Stanford University, chronic use of PPIs increases the overall risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction) by 16-21% compared to patients who don’t take PPIs.  The exact mechanism is unknown, but scientists believe it is related to suppression of an enzyme called DDAH, which is essential for cardiovascular health.

When PPIs were first introduced they were recommended for short-term use only (a few weeks). However, because their near universal effectiveness in reducing stomach acid and heartburn, countless patients have continued to take them, often for many years. With the release of this study, and others linking PPIs to other significant medical problems, their routine unsupervised use is being questioned by doctors and patients alike.

If you are concerned about the risks of taking PPIs, but just can’t imagine how you could get through the day without your heartburn medication, it is time to learn about your alternatives. In addition to H2 Blockers, like Tagomet®, Zantac®, Pepcid®, and Axid® there are minimally invasive surgical techniques, which treat reflux disease at its source, often eliminating the need for medication entirely.

To learn more about how to “put out the fire – permanently” go to www.myrefluxisgone.com.