DANGERS OF PPIS
ANCHOR LEAD: POPULAR ANTACIDS MAY CAUSE A HOST OF PROBLEMS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The class of antacid medications known as proton pump inhibitors seemed a dream come true many years ago, when they were deemed both safe and effective, and ultimately have been sold over the counter. But now a host of studies are showing that these drugs may cause a range of complications. Patrick Okolo, a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins, explains.
OKOLO: There have been small studies that have implicated hip fractures, community acquired pneumonia, and now interaction with antiplatelet agents as potential pitfalls of using PPIs, and this is now happening in an era where their use has been liberalized. I think that the cat’s out of the bag, they are now available in the public domain without prescription. Two things need to happen: one is that we need to inform patients about being more careful about the use of these drugs, and I think the FDA needs to continue to monitor these reports. :30
Okolo says people should consider carefully whether they really need to use these medications for heartburn. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.