Common Reflux Drug Linked to Heart Attack

by admin

Recent results of tow studies have confirmed that patients who use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for reflux, may have up to a 21 percent increased risk of heart attacks when compared to those who don’t use the medications.  The study was the first of its kind and researchers have indicated that it is important because it shows risk in the general “public”.

The medical journal PLOS One has reported that results of separate studies conducted at Houston Methodist Research Institute and Stanford University have shown an increase in heart attack risk between 16 and 21 percent in patients who use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

The studies examined medical records of 2.9 million patients who had taken PPIs, including, the popular prescription medication, Nexium (esomeprazole).  Other PPIs that work by the same mechanism of action include prescriptions and over-the-counter medications such as PrevAcid (lansoprazole), Prilosec (omeprazole) and others.

PPIs are given to patients who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), duodenal ulcer and other types of esophagitis.  Up to 60 percent of the adult population may suffer some type of gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn) within a 12 month period and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has estimated that over 14 percent of all Americans have been prescribed PPI medications.

For the last decade, at least one member of the PPI class has been one of the top three medications prescribed.  Total revenue for PPI medications in 2014 was estimated at $8.5 billion in the U.S. alone, with Nexium sales estimated at nearly $6 billion.

The study comparisons included examination of medical records of patients who were taking other antacid medications such as the H2 blockers Zantac (ranitidine) and Axid (nizatidine) and patients who were not taking any type of antacid medication.

Researchers have indicated that this study is so important as it was conducted with those in the “general public” and not in special populations such as cardiac patients.

The study was the first demonstrated use of new large-scale data mining technology which can be used to examine a large amount of medical data from millions of patients.  Similar examinations have previously been limited by the ability to include the number of patients necessary to reach an accurate conclusion.

Study authors have stated “Our observation is that PPI usage is associated with harm in the general population including the young,” and concluded that additional study was warranted.

Getting the Help You Need

Seeger Weiss LLP is offering free consultations for anyone who may have suffered a heart attack after taking Proton Pump Inhibitors. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, present and future medical care, and other losses stemming from your injuries. For more information please fill out the free evaluation form above or call us directly at 888-610-6574.

Have you been affected by a drug or device listed? Call 855-543-7559