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Millions of Americans take heartburn medications. They are often referred to as PPIs and are amongst the most prescribed medication in the US. They are also readily available for over the counter purchase by consumers.
Preliminary research presented at a recent American Heart Association conference revealed that popular heartburn medications may increase the risk of stroke in patients that use them regularly. The study’s head researcher said, “PPIs have been associated with unhealthy vascular function, including heart attacks, kidney disease, and dementia. We wanted to see if PPIs also posed a risk for ischemic stroke, especially given their increasing use in the general population.”
Research was conducted using data from a quarter-million patients who suffer from indigestion and stomach pain, and who were taking one of four burn medications: Nexium, Protonix, Prevacid or Prilosec. The data suggests that those taking the medication had an overall 21% increase in risk of stroke. Those that took the highest doses of heartburn medications had an increased risk of 33%.
The manufacturers of Nexium, Protonix, Prevacid, and Prilosec all contend that their products are safe to use as directed on the label or y a physician. At this point, it is unclear if the United States Food and Drug Administration will take administrative action as a result of the findings of the study. It will definitely be interesting to see whether more research will be conducted into the number of patients that have suffered a stroke after taking one of these popular heartburn medications.
Mitchell Leeds, LLP is a medical malpractice law firm located in the Bar Area in California. If you think you have been harmed by a doctor or other medical professional, contact our office today for a no cost consultation to discuss the facts and circumstances of your situation.