Prilosec and similar medications are potent acid suppressors, and in so doing they are superb at preventing ulcers and esophagus irritation. Due to their potency questions have been raised about their long-term safety, despite a superb 30 year track record.
I am confident in their safety and am a proponent of their long-term use for patients who require symptomatic relief or long-term protection. A recent study looked at the safety of these medications in esophagus cancer and found that they provide protection from that disease as well. Although they only reduced the risk of cancer by 7%, it was greatly reassuring that there was no ‘increased risk’ of cancer, as some researchers had postulated.
So….PPI’s (Proton Pump Inhibitors) remains a safe, long-term option. Continue your medication, if you need, with confidence.
Recently, there have been concerns that PPI (proton pump inhibitor) medications can lead to osteoporosis due to impairment of calcium absorption.
It is thought that these potent acid-suppressing medications, used for heartburn (GERD) and ulcer, need to be monitored more closely.
Although I am a fan of these medications, given the general safety record for the past 25 years and their broad need, given the massive number of people with upper digestive issues, still we should look at the smokers in this group and consider trying alternative therapies if available.
This British study demonstrated that current (and former) smokers are at increased risk for hip fracture if they are on PPI medications.
The good news is that this risk resolves after 2 years, if they stop the medicine.
So….don’t stop your PPI medication without discussing the alternatives with me.