Gastrointestinal Medications : Johns Hopkins Lupus Center

A class of drugs commonly used to treat acid reflux and heartburn has been linked to a greater-than-doubled risk of developing stomach cancer, a recent study has shown. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are one type of medication that can be used to reduce stomach acid and relieve GERD symptoms. Other medications that can treat excess stomach acid include H2 receptor blockers, such as famotidine (Pepcid AC) and cimetidine (Tagamet). However, PPIs are usually more effective than H2 receptor blockers and can ease symptoms in the majority of people who have GERD.

PPIs are considered to be long-range marathon runners and not short-range track sprinters. Jensen-Jarolim said she hopes doctors will heed the study findings and prescribe acid-suppressing medications with care. She also hopes that consumers buying over-the-counter anti-acids will remember that these are medications and any medication can have side effects.

Your doctor may also prescribe histamine2 blockers (H2 blockers) for symptoms of GERD, esophagitis, or peptic ulcers. While both H2 and PPIs blockers suppress the production of acid in your stomach, they work in different ways and over different time periods. For example, H2 blockers work within an full hour but last only about 12 hours, whereas PPIs need more time to take effect but last up to 24 hours.

If caught early, the condition can be treated and leave no signs of damage to your kidneys. It also seems to be the pathophysiological link between the use of proton pump inhibitors and increased cardiovascular event rate because these drugs bind and inhibit DDAH, the enzyme that degrades ADMA, which results in higher ADMA levels and a decrease in bioavailable NO.

Some people notice the bitter taste of bile in the back of the throat. “Many people have gastric [stomach] complaints and many people take anti-acid medicine. The longer the treatment with these medicines, the higher the risk of allergies,” said study senior author Dr. Erika Jensen-Jarolim, a clinical immunologist at the Medical University of Vienna. The first study, published in February, found that PPI use was tied to a higher risk for chronic kidney disease, while the use of a different kind of acid-blocking drug, called an H2 blocker, was not. Heartburn is a feeling of burning pain in your lower chest, behind the breastbone. It comes from acid backing up from your stomach to your throat.

PPIs interact with some common prescription drugs. For example, some PPIs can reduce the blood-thinning effect of the drug Plavix (generic clopidogrel), according to the US Food and Drug Administration. This can increase the risk of heart attack and even death. If you take Plavix, talk to your doctor about whether you should take a PPI.

Proton pumps are also called hydrogen-potassium pumps, and they are located along the inner lining of the stomach. These pumps are responsible for releasing acid into the stomach. The study won’t lead to the discontinuation of PPIS probably, but encourage doctors to move patients off indefinite use of PPIs and toward episodic use instead. In the near future, a patient may be more likely to be prescribed a PPI for two to four weeks and then taken off it, says Pichetshote.

Eosinophilic esophagitis symptoms include difficulty swallowing food, abdominal pain, chest pain, and heartburn. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that causes chronic inflammation (gastritis) of the inner lining of the stomach, and is the most common cause of ulcers worldwide also.

PPIs are one of the most powerful medications for relieving GERD symptoms because even a small amount of acid can cause significant symptoms. GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a chronic form of heartburn. Learn about symptoms and treatment. Two of the most commonly prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are omeprazole (Prilosec) and esomeprazole (Nexium). Both are now available as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

Drug Interactions with PPI Medications

And some may present a greater risk for certain side effects. Proton pump inhibitors might cause drug interactions with 290 other medicines. Some of these may be minor. But some PPI interactions can be serious or even life-threatening. Studies have shown this practice might be ineffective.

A small 2015 study of 79 people found Aloe vera was “safe and well tolerated” in treating GERD patients. Researchers said Aloe vera “may provide a safe and effective treatment” for symptoms. Patients on PPIs should speak with their doctor before stopping PPIs. They should talk to their doctor before switching to a PPI alternative also. Alternatives to proton pump inhibitors might not work for some conditions PPIs treat.

use of drugs called proton-pump inhibitors which lessen stomach acid

They also counter the various problems that occur when stomach acid escapes into the esophagus, which – if it happens on a regular basis – is a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In most head-to-head trials, the PPIs have proved to be superior to the H2 blockers. There is a risk of side-effects for “millions who take unnecessary stomach drugs”, reported the Daily Mail. It said that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), used for treating symptoms of ulcers and heartburn (dyspepsia) by reducing stomach acid, are wrongly prescribed in up to two-thirds of cases. Additionally, the study found that more than half of the people taking PPIs did so without a medical need, although the data did not indicate why the patients had been prescribed PPIs.

use of drugs called proton-pump inhibitors which lessen stomach acid

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December 9, 2009

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