WASHINGTON, D.C. — A drug commonly used to treat acid reflux has been linked to a more than doubled risk of developing stomach cancer, researchers have claimed.
According to a study published in the journal Gut, researchers identified an association between long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and a 2.4 times higher risk of developing stomach cancer.
A link between PPIs and a higher stomach cancer risk has previously been identified by academics – but never in a study that first eliminates a bacteria suspected of fuelling the illness’s development.
The new results also reportedly conflict with a recently published, U.S. Food and Drug Administration–mandated follow-up study conducted with pantoprazole, said David A. Johnson, MD, chief of gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.
The study was published online Oct. 31 in Gut.
PPIs — a a class of drugs that includes Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Dexilant, Protonix and Zegerid — reduce the amount of acid made by the stomach and are used to treat acid reflux and stomach ulcers.
According to the study, less than one percent of the people studied were diagnosed with this kind of cancer over seven years, and stomach cancer cases account for only 1.7 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. every year. However, that increased relative risk is alarmingly high.
The study concluded no firm cause and effect could be drawn, but — according to The Guardian — doctors should “exercise caution when prescribing long-term PPIs … even after successful eradication of H plyori.”
“Ultimately, the risk of gastric cancer is quite low, but overall, the field is moving toward being cautious with these agents,” Dr. Yelena Janjigian, a gastric cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center told Newsweek. “Even before this paper came out, the general trend has been to take people off the therapy.”
What Are Proton Pump Inhibitor Alternatives?
Individuals who suffer from chronic acid reflux do have treatment options other than proton pump inhibitors.
Before prescribing PPIs, doctors often recommend a patient try using antacids, a type of medication that neutralizes stomach acid and reduces the amount of acid that is refluxed into the esophagus. However, for patients who suffer from chronic heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), antacids may not be enough to combat their condition.
Another type of medication commonly used to treat acid indigestion is Histamine H2 receptor antagonists, commonly known as H2 blockers. These medications work to reduce the production of stomach acid, as well as make stomach juices less acidic, so that the esophagus becomes less irritated.
Doctors will usually prescribe H2 blockers to patients who suffer from chronic heartburn that is not controlled by antacids. Popular H2 blockers include Pepcid and Zantac.
Can I File An Proton Pump Inhibitor Stomach Cancer Lawsuit?
Our dangerous drug lawyers can help if you or someone you care has suffered from the development of any conditions including heart attacks, dementia, kidney injury, or bone fractures caused by PPI.
Our top-rated lawyers are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Proton Pump Inhibitor cases in all 50 states.
Both patients and their families are seeking compensation for damages. You may be entitled to a settlement if you were harmed by PPI’s.
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How Do I Start A Proton Pump Inhibitor Stomach Cancer Claim?
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