Heartburn Drugs Linked to Stomach Cancer

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Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors like Nexium and Prilosec could lead to an increased risk of stomach cancer. That’s the news out of Gut medical journal, an academic publication that focuses on stomach health research. While stomach cancer is somewhat rare, those taking proton pump inhibitors may double their chances of being diagnosed with the deadly disease. More alarmingly, those taking the medications for more than three years increase their odds of developing stomach cancer by eightfold.

How Proton Pump Inhibitors Work

Proton pump inhibitors work by limiting the amount of acid made by the stomach and causing heartburn and acid reflux. The drugs have been undoubtedly effective; Nexium is one of the best-selling drugs for AstraZeneca, the company who makes it. It brought in more than $2 billion in revenue in 2016 alone.

Increased Risk of Mortality

Researchers have begun studying the link between proton pump inhibitors and the increased risk of death in patients taking them. By pouring through medical record data provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the researchers were able to track the usage of PPIs over a person’s lifetime. When comparing patients taking proton pump inhibitors over a different kind of drug called an H2 blocker, they found a 25 percent increase in risk of death. The longer a person took the drug, the greater the risk of developing deadly cancers related to the use of the medication.

PPI Stomach Cancer Lawsuits

If you or a loved one took a PPI, such as Nexium or Prilosec, and was later diagnosed with stomach or gastric cancer, contact us for a free consultation.