A new American Heart Association report says that some popular acid reflux drugs could raise the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
The drugs, including Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, suppress stomach acid but may also cause blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow, Forbes reports
. John P. Cooke, clinical professor and chair of the department of cardiovascular sciences at Houston Methodist Hospital, researched the disease, publishing his findings in the current issue of Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association
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Drugs in the class known as protein pump inhibitors, or PPIs, caused a 25 percent increase in a in a compound that is considered a cardiovascular risk when injected into mice and are likely to do the same in humans, researchers said.
Cooke and his colleagues are doing further research that he believes will bolster his conclusions.
“There’s going to be more information coming out that will, in my opinion, raise concerns about the long-term effects of proton pump inhibitors and risk of heart damage,” Cooke told Forbes.
Patients with a family history of heart disease or other risk factors may want to avoid the drugs, he said.
“I’d tell people, if there’s something else they could be taking that would effectively control their symptoms, such as Zantac or Tagamet, maybe that would be better,” he told Forbes.
Other studies have suggested that PPIs can lead to pneumonia and intestinal infections, according to Consumer Reports
Acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), affects 25 to 40 percent of the U.S. adult population at some point, and 10 percent experience its symptoms weekly or daily, according to emedicine health
Most people can manage symptoms of acid reflux the condition by making lifestyle changes and taking over-the-counter drugs, but GERD sufferers may only get temporary relief without stronger medication, according to the Mayo Clinic
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