One of my soapbox topics is the long term use of protein pump inhibitors [like Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, aka PPI’s] to reduce stomach acid. In 2012, 40% of Americans had symptoms of GERD [gastroesophageal reflux disease] and only antipsychotics and statins are more widely prescribed than PPI’s.
Even the FDA has warned us that they are bad – they say that long-term use and high doses have been associated with an increased risk of bone fractures and infections with a bacterium [Clostridium difficlile] that is most dangerous to elderly patients. In fact, in a paper published in May, 2012 [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22683398] they recommended that older adults use the drugs only “for the shortest duration possible.”
Other studies have shown that long term use of these drugs:
- reduce the absorption of magnesium, calcium, vitamin B12, and reduced the effectiveness of other medication [especially Plavix];
- increase your risk of developing pneumonia
- cause weight gain
These drugs were designed for short term use [up to twelve WEEKS maximum] but they breed dependency, and don’t really solve the problem. The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma [throat cancer], associated with GERD, which is what the acid blockers are typically prescribed to prevent in the first place, has risen 350% since 1970.
I am a chiropractor and naturopath. It is not within the scope of my practice to make recommendations about medication prescribed by your medical practitioner. So, I can’t recommend that you get off this or any medication. If YOU decide you’re ready to discontinue the acid blocker, please ask for help. I have protocols that work.
Note: To follow links leading to the research studies, go to http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/combating-acid-reflux-may-bring-host-of-ills/?_r=0®ister=google