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Some Doctors Question Potential Overuse of Proton Pump Inhibitors

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Minneapolis, MNHeartburn drugs such as Prilosec and Prevacid are among the best-selling in the nation, but those who take them may end up suffering proton pump inhibitors side effects.

Dr. Marcus Thygeson, the president of the Center for Healthcare Innovation at Allina Hospitals & Clinics, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he once prescribed heartburn medications to many of his patients but has since changed his stance on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), so called because they are intended to reduce one's ability to pump acid into the stomach.

In fact, when Thygeson's own doctor tried to prescribe him one of the medications, he balked.

"It was all I could do to get out of the office without a prescription," he told the news provider.

Proton pump inhibitors are also connected to a number of side effects such as an increased risk of bone fracture and pneumonia. In addition, a 2009 study found that if use of the medication is stopped abruptly it can cause heartburn and indigestion, the symptoms the medication is intended to cure.

"When you put a patient on a PPI, you're essentially setting them up to be on it for a lifetime," Thygeson told the news source. "I think we need to back away from those drugs."

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