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PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS

ANCHOR LEAD:  THE DANGERS OF THE ANTACIDS CALLED PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS ARE MOUNTING, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Proton pump inhibitors are a very effective class of medication used to treat heartburn, with some dosages available over the counter.  Now several studies in Archives of Internal Medicine establish some of the risks associated with their use but find that both OTC and prescriptions are very popular.  Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, reflects on the data.

MILLER: We need to ask ourselves, why are we prescribing so many PPIs? I know in my practice it feels good.  A patient comes in with a problem, their stomach bothers them, I give them a pill and I make them feel better.  That’s what I was trained to do as a doctor, and I’m not always thinking about all the long term side effects.  Another reason is our patients are routinely put on proton pump inhibitors when they come into the hospital and those may not be discontinued at discharge, the patient just ends up staying on them and on them and on them.                 :29

Miller suggests that use of proton pump inhibitors should perhaps be limited and alternatives employed instead.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey..


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