When Heartburn Medications Harm the Heart
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Jun 29, 2016
A new study raises concerns about the safety of common heartburn medications, like Nexium. In lab tests, the heartburn medicine accelerated the aging rate of blood vessels. The aging of the cells, might, according to an article in Philly.com, hinder the cells’ ability to prevent heart attack and stroke, as reported in a new study.
The study is not the first of its kind; multiple studies have shown that the use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of heartburn medications, increase the risk of heart attack. However, this is the first study that indicates why that might be.
Nexium and Accelerated Aging of Blood Vessels
PPIs are an effective way to treat heartburn because they block acid-producing cells in the stomach. However, they may also interfere with acid-producing cells elsewhere in the body. This matters because the acid that is produced by the cells is essential for the clearing of waste. When acid production is impaired, so is waste removal. As such, waste buildup leads to rapid aging of the cells.
According to Dr. John Cooke, who is the senior author of the recent study (quote in the article cited above), the findings indicate that the findings that Nexium and other PPI drugs impair the lining of the blood vessels is a “unifying mechanism” for reports indicating that those who take PPIs are at an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and renal failure.
It is important to note that the study was not a controlled clinical trial, but instead was conducted in a laboratory setting.
Is Nexium Safe?
For users of Nexium and other PPIs, the study raises concerns about whether or not the medications are safe and if it use is okay to continue. The answer is that in general, PPIs are considered to be safe for use. However, when they are used chronically or inconsistently with prescribed use instructions, they may present dangers. An article published in MedlinePlus reviews “The good, the bad, and the unwanted,” and states that many people who are prescribed PPIs do not have clear indications for their use, making them more dangerous.
Finding other remedies to heartburn, like dietary changes, is the safest way to reduce heartburn and protect one’s health.
Defective Pharmaceutical Attorneys Serving You
One thing is for sure – a prescription drug should never cause a patient to have a heart attack or other adverse health event. Whether this is because the drug is inherently defective and dangerous, or because a patient is not properly educated on how to use the drug, the question remains whether the harm was caused by negligence.
At the law offices of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., our passionate Philadelphia defective pharmaceutical attorneys can advise you if you have suffered a heart attack or other health complication as a result of taking a PPI or other drug. To learn more about your rights, contact us today for a free case consultation.