According to the Mayo Clinic, the health risks associated with PPIs are:
- Bowel irritation
- Passing excessive gas
- Abdominal pain
- Low magnesium
- Low B12
- Kidney disease
It should be noted, however, that these issues are rare and represent a very small sample from within the larger population. Furthermore, issues pertaining to vitamin or nutrition deficiencies can often be remedied using supplements.
Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, have been used for decades to control issues such as indigestion and heartburn. Thanks to their effectiveness and ease of use, they’ve been used by tens of millions of people, and they are the go-to drug for people suffering from stomach ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD.
GERD is a chronic digestive problem that is marked by the backflow of the contents of the stomach–including stomach acids–back through the bottom of the esophagus or food pipe. This can cause burning, irritation, and inflammation in the esophagus all the way up to the back of the mouth. According to the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, roughly 20% of people suffer from GERD at least once a week.
Options and Alternatives
PPIs are often used as a replacement for the ranitidine, a drug that was recently discovered to be a carcinogen. Ranitidine is in one of the more popular acid reflux drugs, Zantac, which was pulled from the market.
If you’ve suffered any form of health issue linked to your PPI use, do not immediately discontinue its use, especially if you have used PPIs for a long time. Speak to your doctor first. A sudden cessation of PPI use can cause an ulcer to bleed or may lead to other health complications.
Some patients may benefit by replacing PPIs with histamine blockers, but many histamine blockers are ineffective with patients who have become used to using PPIs for acid reflux control.
There are healthier alternatives, as well. Losing weight, avoiding tobacco use and alcohol, sleeping at an incline, and avoiding foods such as citrus fruits and coffee can all help manage GERD without medical intervention.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Do
If you must take a PPI, always do so on an empty stomach, but be sure to eat something within the next hour. Most PPIs are taken in the morning, so always take your regular dosage as directed. A leading cause of health issues that stem from the use of PPIs and histamine blockers for treating acid reflux is the misuse of these medications, not issues with the medications themselves.
You must avoid taking over the counter drugs for over two weeks at a stretch without consulting your doctor. If you get little or no relief from your symptoms, share a health update with your doctor and see if alternate solutions are available.
Do not eat foods that you know can trigger an acid reflux reaction, and if specific types of food make you feel uneasy, avoid them. Finally, never ignore symptoms of your medications since they may indicate the presence of a more serious underlying issue.
Contact Us Today
There are many health risks associated with PPIs, especially if they are used for a long time. If you suffer from GERD or have stomach ulcers and are unsure whether or not you can use PPIs.
If you are considering switching to PPIs after using Zantac or another drug containing ranitidine, please consult your doctor. If you are experiencing cancer or any other adverse health effects following your use of ranitidine, you could be entitled to compensation through a lawsuit.
Plaintiffs have claimed that the sellers of ranitidine drugs knew of their dangers, but they did not identify those dangers to the public. Some are now seeking compensation for their injuries to cover costs like:
- Past and future medical bills
- Medical transportation costs
- Past and future lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
If a loved one died after using ranitidine, you might benefit from filing a wrongful death lawsuit to cover other costs like funeral and burial bills, loss of consortium, and more.
Call the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to learn more about your options if you have suffered injuries after using ranitidine. We work on a contingency basis, so we do not get paid unless your case results in a settlement.