ANCHOR LEAD: TREATING HEARTBURN SHOULD BEGIN WITH SOMETHING OTHER THAN PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Proton pump inhibitors, a bestselling class of medication used to treat heartburn, may increase the risk of certain types of fractures related to osteoporosis as well as infections acquired in the hospital, recent studies in Archives of Internal Medicine report. Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says sales of these drugs are worth millions.
MILLER: Proton pump inhibitors, if you look at prescriptions only, we prescribe 113 million prescriptions each year in the United States, which accounts for $14 billion in healthcare costs. I think we could do a better job of other ways of approaching nonulcer dyspepsia or even some ulcer disease. For instance, lifestyle modification. It works very well for GERD. If patients could focus on weight loss, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, not eating late at night, raising the head of the bed, and if they have to an H2 blocker. :32
Miller says if you ’re taking a PPI, talk with your doctor about alternatives. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.