Thursday, July 2, 2009

PPI drugs and drug dependency

Morale of the story: If you don't need PPI drugs (proton pump inhibitors), don't take them.

According to a clinical trial, healthy people without any history of acid reflux or heartburn problems took PPIs for eight weeks which lead to developing symptoms for PPIs thusly a dependency on the drug.

(Why would healthy people participate in such a clinical trial?)

PPIs like Aciphex, Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, and Protonix are among the most widely used prescription medications in the world.

Proton pump inhibitors are highly effective treatments for acid reflux symptoms, but taking prescription-strength dosages of the drugs for just a few months can lead to dependency, new research suggests.

By week 12, when the PPI group had been off active treatment for four weeks, about 21% reported symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, or acid regurgitation, compared to slightly less than 2% of those who never took a PPI.

The study appears in the July issue of the journal Gastroenterology.