Back in 2011, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that popular over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – a class of drugs used to alleviate heartburn – could possibly increase the risk of bone fractures, especially in people using them long term.
Four years later and still not much has been done to bring this serious risk to the attention of the millions of people who use PPIs on a regular basis.
Slowly breaking your bones
Now, researchers from the Forsyth Institute, one of the top independent research organizations in the US, are sounding the alarm once again. In fact, the researchers say that regular us of PPIs for heartburn increase your risk of bone fractures by a shocking 34 per cent.
See, the very acids PPI drugs suppress in your stomach, actually enable your body to regulate the calcium in our blood and transfer it to our bones. According to lead researcher, Dr. Ricardo Battaglino, if you block that acid you’re literally starving and weakening your bones.
As I mentioned earlier, the bad news about PPIs and bone fractures is certainly not news to the FDA or drug makers. In fact, reports of shattered wrists, ankles and hips were so frightening that the FDA required all PPIs to carry a warning about possible fracture risks.
But that never happened… because the FDA changed its mind and ruled that as long as the over-the-counter PPIs carry a warning not to take these drugs any longer than two weeks, the fracture warnings are not necessary.
The only thing is, many people pop these pills every single day, for years and years on end. So, suffice to say, a simple warning on the label is not enough to warn chronic PPI users…
In fact, here’s just some of what we now know about PPIs and bone breaks:
- Using these drugs can increase your risk of hip, wrist, foot and spine fractures.
- The risk increases the longer you use them, with those taking them for one year or more at the greatest risk.
- Taking a higher dose, even for under a year, also increases the chance of a fracture.
- The danger also increases if you have other risk factors for broken bones and are over 50.
Of course, you’ll never hear these warnings from the drug companies… because they’ve been given a green flag to keep the dangers of these drugs under wraps sentencing millions to shattered bones, agonizing pain, and lost independence.
Make sure you forward this alert to anyone you know that suffers with heartburn and uses PPI drugs on a regular basis.
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“Stomach acid may be a key player in bone health” Salynn Boyles, April 2, 2015, Medpagetoday, medpagetoday.com
“Fracture warning nixed for OTC proton pump inhibitors” Robert Lowes, Medscape, Medscape.com
“Patients often aren’t offered minimally invasive surgery” Nancy Shute, March 25, 2015, NPR, npr.org