“Heartburn Drugs May Increase The Risk Of Stokes”

Even Larry The Cable Guy is hawking heartburn drugs, without mentioning the possible harmful downside to these powerful medications.  Most PPIs in the United States are now available over the counter. The most common PPIs are omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and esomeprazole (Nexium).  At a 2016 meeting of the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions, it was shown that a popular group of antacids known as Proton Pump Inhibitors, or PPIs, used to reduce stomach acid and treat heartburn may increase the risk of ischemic stroke and the increased risk was dramatic.  Ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, is caused by clots blocking blood flow to or in the brain.  Most patients do not know that PPIs have been associated with unhealthy vascular function, including heart attacks, kidney disease and dementia.  Experts say that at one time, PPIs were thought to be safe, without major side effects, but this new study further questions the cardiovascular safety of these drugs. Researchers analyzed the records of 244,679 Danish patients for nearly six years of follow up, and 9,489 patients had an ischemic stroke for the first time in their lives.

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