Heartburn drugs linked to hip fracture risk

According to AboutLawsuits.com, a new study states that women who take heartburn medications including Nexium®, Prevacid®, and Prilosec® are at a greater risk for suffering hip fractures as compared to women not taking heartburn medication.

According to the researchers from Boston, the longer a woman uses heartburn medication from a class of drugs referred to as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), the greater becomes the risk for a hip fracture. The findings from the British Medical Journal also reveal that smoking cigarettes increase this risk for hip fractures.

Over 80,000 postmenopausal women were examined in the study. These women were enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study and provided information regarding PPI use between 2000 and 2008.

It was later determined by the researchers that women who used PPIs had a higher risk, about 35% higher, for hip fractures that women who do not take Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, and any other PPI medication. The risk becomes higher the longer these medications are taken. The study found that within four years, the risk for hip fractures due to PPIs is 42% higher and 55% higher when taken for six to eight years.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning in May of 2010 stating that the risk for bone fractures may be higher as a cause of PPI medications. In March of 2011, the warning was updated to include the link between high doses of Nexium over long periods of time and an increased risk for suffering hip fractures.

A prominent consumer advocate group, known as the Public Citizen, requested “black box warnings” to be added to all PPI medications. The goal was to alert individuals, that are taking the medications, that there may be a linkage to dependency of the drugs and also an increased risk for bone breaks.

Lawsuits against the manufacturers of PPI medications have since been filed involving allegations that these companies failed to adequately research their medications or warn about the risks associated with use.


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