ARE PPI MEDICATIONS (NEXIUM, PRILOSEC, ETC) ASSOCIATED WITH HEART ATTACKS?
A study in London showed a 16% increase in heart attacks in people using these types of stomach acid blockers. There were no connections to heart disease with other acid blockers (Zantac, Pepcid, etc.) It is not known why although it is suspected that PPI medications interfere with vascular function. It should also be noted that this study did not prove that there was a direct causation with these drugs and heart disease, just an association. More testing needs to be done.
Until more information becomes available, long term PPI use should only be used with the consent of your physician. If you can switch to other types of acid medications and it works just as well, it might be worth trying. There are, however, many patients who only get relief with PPI’s. As with all treatment options, benefits versus risk should always be weighed.