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Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Gastric Cancer, Severe Kidney Disease and Bone Fractures FAQ

What are Proton Pump Inhibitors?

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are medications used to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers in the stomach and small intestine and inflammation of the esophagus. They work by reducing the amount of acid in the patient's stomach. Proton pump inhibitors are available either through prescription or over the counter.

What are the PPI drugs?

Prescription proton pump inhibitors include:
  • Nexium (known generically as esomeprazole)
  • Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)
  • Prevacid (iansoprazole)
  • Prilosec (omeprazole)
  • Zegerid (omeprazole)
  • Protonix (pantroprazole)
  • Aciphex (rabeprazole)
  • Vimovo (naproxen and esomeprazole magnesium)
OTC Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs sold over-the-counter) include:
  • Prilosec OTC (omeprazole)
  • Zegerid OTC (omeprazole)
  • Prevacid 24HR (iansoprazole)
Why are there proton pump inhibitor lawsuits?

Proton pump inhibitors have been linked to an increased risk of fracture. That risk has been found to increase with long-term use. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), patients who use proton pump inhibitors long-term may face an increased risk of hip, wrist or spine fracture.

What does the FDA say about Proton Pump Inhibitors?

On 5/25/10, the FDA issued a news release about proton pump inhibitors, based on the agency's review of several PPI studies. FDA stated that those at highest risk for fractures received a high dose of proton pump inhibitors or used the PPI medication for one year or more. The majority of patients involved in the studies were 50 years of age or older.

The FDA news release further notes that over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors should be used as directed for 14 days and should not be used for more than three 14-day treatment courses in one year.

What should I do if I'm taking a proton pump inhibitor?

If you are taking a proton pump inhibitor and are concerned about the side effects, speak to your medical professional. Do not discontinue medication without first speaking to your doctor.
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Last updated on Jun-19-10
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