Is it safe to take Proton Pump Inhibitors?

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Most of the people in Kashmir continue consuming Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) for a long time without consulting a doctor. PPIs are commonly used in Kashmir to treat acid reflux, indigestion, stomach and other health issues.

PPIs have without a doubt shown to be quite efficient and secure in treating GERD and peptic ulcer disease. But according to the recent studies, PPIs inhibit gastric acid secretion and its long-term use has potential adverse effects like risk of fractures, pneumonia, Clostridium difficile diarrhea, hypomagnesemia, vitamin B12 deficiency, chronic kidney disease, and dementia.

Also, diseases like osteoporosis, diabetes and other kidney problems.

Antacids with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are now among the top 10 prescribed medications and are frequently used to treat heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, and other health problems.

According to the doctors, PPIs like Omeprazole, Esomeprazole, Lansoprazole, Rabeprazole, Pantoprazole are over the counter medicines but the prolonged use of Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) can cause chronic health issues in people of different age groups.

The findings suggest that long-term PPI usage by pregnant individuals carries a possible risk of congenital abnormalities.

In addition to PPIs (omeprazole is a safe PPI option), numerous studies have advised pregnant women to initially try lifestyle changes and antacid use while saving PPIs for more severe cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Enteric, lung, and urinary tract infections can potentially develop as a result of PPIs’ long-term acid suppression.

PPIs and antiplatelet medications like clopidogrel shouldn’t be used concurrently because doing so puts patients at risk for serious heart problems.

Doctors said antacids are medicines which help in neutralising the acid in the stomach. Omeprazole, Esomeprazole, Lansoprazole, Rabeprazole, Pantoprazole are some of the PPIs which block the secretion of acid in the stomach. But acid secretion is important for calcium in the body. People with deficiency of calcium in the body puts them at higher risk of osteoporosis.

People should consume these medicines for a limited time as suggested by the doctors.

Even some studies found that regular and prolonged use of PPIs is associated with a higher risk of diabetes. Physicians should therefore avoid unnecessary prescription of this class of drugs, particularly for long-term use.

As per the research, in a clinical context, use of PPI for more than 8 weeks could be a reasonable definition of long-term use in patients with reflux symptoms and more than 4 weeks in patients with dyspepsia or peptic ulcer. 

But PPIs may be necessary for certain people for the rest of their lives. Others see a hazier picture.

PPI users should nearly always try discontinuing them or switching to a less effective acid-blocking drug under a doctor’s supervision if their symptoms got better while using them.

These users who are taking them for ulcer prevention (whether or not they have GERD symptoms) shouldn’t stop taking them without first consulting a doctor. An ulcer that bleeds or perforates as a result of an abrupt cessation could result in additional difficulties.

However, people who experience occasional or mild heartburn can get by with a simple antacid.

H2 blockers, which inhibit histamine receptors that encourage the production of stomach acid and appear to have a lower risk, may be recommended to those with GERD initially. However, he points out that for roughly 40% of users, they are ineffectual.

Patients may also take precautions to decrease GERD triggers, including losing weight, quitting smoking and drinking alcohol, sleeping on their backs, and avoiding foods like citrus, coffee, and tomato-based products.

These attempts may occasionally result in relief without the need for medicine.

In order to treat GERD, doctors and studies advise several “Do and Don’ts” when using prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Dos

PPIs should be taken on an empty stomach, followed by a meal 30 to 45 minutes later.

PPIs should be taken first thing in the morning unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. As soon as you wake up in the morning if you’re taking it (before you shower or brush your teeth).

If a PPI is prescribed twice daily, take the second dose before dinner rather than right before bed.

Maintain a supply of your medication at work and take it before you leave for home if you take it in the evening. Take the PPI as soon as you begin preparing the meals if you cook it.

 

Dont’s

Take over-the-counter drugs to lower acid levels for more than 14 days without consulting a physician, particularly if you have little to no relief from your symptoms.

Consume meals that could worsen your symptoms.

Ignore your symptoms, especially any swallowing issues. These can point to a more serious ailment.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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