Published March 10th, 2016 by Stephanie
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of medicine that’s come to be widely prescribed for anyone who suffers regular heartburn, which is the uncomfortable burning sensation that happens when stomach acid makes its way into the esophagus. When it gets particularly bad it’s called acid reflux disease and a doctor will often prescribe a PPI to lower the amount of acid the stomach produces, but the medication may carry some significant and previously unknown side effects.
A German research team recently published a study that showed a strong correlation between elderly people who take PPI medications and elderly people with dementia. Specifically, the risk of dementia was 44 percent higher among those using the medication compared to those who weren’t. This is especially worrisome when you realize that doctors often overprescribe PPIs, which means they either assign a higher dosage than what a person might need or they prescribe the drug in cases where someone may have been able to muddle through with calcium tablets.
At the same time, however, the study didn’t find a causal link between PPIs and dementia, which means the drug may not be responsible at all. It could be that some currently unknown factor, such as genetics, pollution, or some other environmental hazard causes higher rates of dementia while also causing higher rates of acid reflux, and so the PPI medications are being used to treat a natural side effect of some other cause. Further studies are needed to see if this is a cause-and-effect link or something coincidental, but for now doctors are advising caution rather than avoidance.
And whether you’re taking a PPI or whether you plan on shifting to a different prescription-strength antacid, you can get some help paying for it with the USARx pharmacy discount card. Our discount is accepted in the vast majority of all pharmacies nationwide, including all the major retail chains, and signing up is both free and easy. You can discover more by calling us at 888-277-3911 or by sending an email to [email protected] Statement: German researchers have found a non-causal link between PPIs and dementia.