Heartburn News & Tips

Heartburn Drug May Cause Heart Disease

A July 2013 announcement of research results from Houston Methodist Hospital and two other institutions reports that Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) may increase risk of cardiovascular problems including hypertension, a weakened heart and even another heart attack in “people who’ve already experienced severe coronary events.”

Lansoprazole (trade name Prevacid) and omeprazole (trade name Prilosec) are commonly used PPIs, and PPIs in 2009 “were the third-most taken type of drug in the U.S.”

The researchers studied response of mice and cultures of human cells and found that PPIs “caused the constriction of blood vessels if taken regularly.”

“We found that PPIs interfere with the ability of blood vessels to relax,” said one of the researchers. “PPIs have this adverse effect by reducing the ability of human blood vessels to generate nitric oxide. Nitric oxide generated by the lining of the vessel is known to relax, and protect, arteriest and veins.”

“Patients taking PPIs may wish to speak to their doctors about switching to another drug to protect their stomachs, if they are at risk for a heart attack,” said the study’s principal investigator.

I have my own little method of eliminating the need for heartburn drugs entirely, but for those taking these drugs, yeah, check with your doctor.

For more details, see the full text of Houston Methodist’s announcement.

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