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“Stomach Acid Drugs Have Real Dangers”

Drugs which block stomach acid production are called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Zegerid and others, and are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.  Over 113 million prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors are filled each year, accounting for nearly $14 billion in sales.  But, several new studies warn that the popular stomach acid reducers are showing the potential for serious side effects.  They are prescribed to treat inflammation of the esophagus, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and ulcers and other conditions, and work by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach.  However, stomach acid can be a very important defense mechanism against pathogens (bacteria), in that it can kill them. 

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