Have you ever heard of a proton pump inhibitor? No, it is not from Star Trek!!!
Proton pump inhibitors are commonly prescribed medications that suppress acid in the stomach. Many people know this as heartburn or reflux. Taking these medications appears to be associated with fractures in postmenopausal women and bacterial infections in many patients.
113.4 million prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors are filled each year, making this class of drugs, at $13.9 billion in sales, the third highest seller in the United States. $13.9 BILLION!!!! for hearburn medications! We are all in the wrong line of work.
These medications are used to treat inflammation of the esophagus, reflux, ulcers and several other conditions, but evidence suggests that 53-69% of proton pump inhibitor prescriptions are for inappropriate indications.
Postmenopausal women, aged 50-79, were followed over eight years with findings of increased risk of spine, forearm and wrist fractures. There was also a huge increase, 74%, of contracting a nasty infection from Clostridium difficile. According to the Mayo clinic, there has been a huge increase in C-diff cases in the last few years.
Any co-incidence, given how much of these meds people are taking now?
There used to be a commercial on TV for a heartburn medication in which a group of guys were sitting around a campfire. Each one was telling the other what they could eat and as long as they took the medication there would be no heartburn. One gentleman stated that he used to pour the chili right into the tortilla chip bag and as long as he took the super drug he would be fine.
Trust me when I tell you this, if you are poring chili right into the bag and eating it, the last thing you need to worry about is the side effects of heartburn meds!