Common Heartburn Drugs Increase Risk of Death
Millions of Americans suffer from heartburn, a condition where stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and creates an uncomfortable burning sensation. To help manage heartburn, many Americans use popular heartburn medications called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), but a recent study revealed these drugs are incredibly dangerous.
How PPIs Work
PPIs work by targeting the enzyme in the stomach’s lining that creates acid, and preventing the enzymes from making more acid. This reduces the amount of acid in the stomach, thereby relieving heartburn.
However, PPIs have been linked to a variety of permanent and life-threatening side effects. In April 2016, a study published in the Journal Of The American Society Of Nephology found patients who take PPIs had a 28% increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Additionally, the study also determined patients who take PPIs had a 96% increased risk of developing end-stage kidney failure within five years of starting to use the medications. Other health risks linked to PPIs include severe stomach infections, heart disease, osteoporosis, and dementia.
Increased Risk of Death
Because of the increasing number of dangerous side effects, researchers wanted to investigate how these side effects were impacting patients. Researchers from Washington State University School of Medicine analyzed a large patient database to compare death rates among patients who took PPIs with patients who took another class of heartburn medications called H2 Blockers.
Researchers looked at nearly 350,000 patients taking heartburn drugs and tracked them for up to five years. They determined that there was a 25% increased risk of death in patients who took PPIs compared to patients who took H2 Blockers. The researchers also determined that a patient’s risk of death increased with the length of time they took PPIs.
What This Means For Patients With Heartburn
Patients have a right to know all risks associated with prescription medications before they take them. This allows them to make informed decisions about their healthcare. However, when drug companies do not disclose risks, patients can be left with serious or fatal injuries. When this happens, patients have a right to hold the dangerous drug manufacturer responsible.
At Blizzard & Nabers, our attorneys have been standing up to large pharmaceutical companies and corporations on behalf of clients all over the country for over 30 years. If you were injured by a PPI, we can help you obtain justice. Contact us today for a free consultation.