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Details of Proton Pump Inhibitor Drugs' Use and Side Effects

Sep 16, 2008
A group of drugs known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) were recently discovered to be linked with severe bone fractures and bone density loss among patients. The drugs are used to control and reduce gastric acid production and inhibit acid secretion.

In August 2008, the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that PPIs may reduce calcium absorption, thus causing early onset osteoporosis and bone fracture among patients, especially those taking PPIs for five to seven years or longer.

The study echoed results of a similar study published in a December 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that long-term, high-dose consumption of PPIs contributed to hip fractures among patients.

According to an American Medical News article from September 2008, the National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that approximately 44 million Americans, which accounts for 55 percent of the 50-years-of-age or older population suffer from osteoporosis and bone fractures.

What are PPIs Used For?

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) were introduced to help patients suffering from an array of conditions find relief with a reduction of gastric acid production. PPIs can be used for treatment of the following:

* Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

* Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

* Stress gastritis

* Barrett's esophagus

* Peptic ulcer disease (PUD)

* Dyspepsia

* Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease

* Gastrinomas

Conditions causing hypersecretion of acid
The PPIs account for a nearly $13 billion dollar a year industry, considered one of the most popular drugs available coming in only second to cholesterol drugs, according to an article from The Wall Street Journal.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Side Effects

While two medical studies have reported significant dangers associated with consuming PPIs, their have been no proton pump inhibitor recalls and Sameer Dev Saini, MD, the lead author of the Journal of American Medical Associations believes that the evidence is not concrete enough for patients to receive different prescription habits, according to the American Medical News article.

However, physicians are recommending stronger warnings as well as an increased consumption of calcium and vitamin D intake. Common PPI side effects include:

* Mild dizziness

* Headache

* Nausea

* Diarrhea

* Constipation

* Rash

Patients who are currently taking PPIs and are suffering from the following side effects may want to consider consulting a physician to ensure the PPI is not causing unseen damages:

* brittle bones

* bone fractures

* breaking bones

* osteoporosis

Overcoming PPI Risks

PPIs are most commonly known for treating or reducing heartburn, however, there are several other treatments that can be considered to reduce heartburn as well as consumption of PPIs, which have severe risks associated with them. Some additional treatment options include:

* Change in diet, including cutting back on high-fat meals, alcohol, caffeine and soda

* Consuming antacids, such as Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta, to neutralize acid production

* Consumption of H-2 Blockers (Pepcid, Zantac and Tagament), which block acid production

* Pro-motility drugs, such as Propulsid, that hasten gastric emptying

* Antireflux surgery

Several of the more common PPIs brand names include:

* Aciphex (rabeprazole)

* Prilosec (omepraazole)

* Nexium (esomeprazole)

* Prevacid (lansoprazole)

* Protonix (pantoprazole)

Individuals suffering from any of the above conditions who have been taking PPIs for several years should consult a medical professional immediately, as the patient may be at extreme risks for developing early onset osteoporosis.

Additionally, while it may seem frightening at first to contact a legal professional as well, a legal consultation is often free of charge and can provide insight into how to receive monetary compensation for the severity of damages done to a patient who now suffers from PPI-induced bone fractures.
About the Author
Learn more about Proton Pump Inhibitors, visit http://proton-pump-inhibitors-ppi.legalview.com or visit http://www.LegalView.com/ . Additionally, LegalView offers information on other various legal issues such as the Cipro risks or the latest on truck accident lawsuits .
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