Common antacids raise risk of fracture

6/3/2009

NEW YORK Common antacids known as proton-pump inhibitors and histamine-2 receptor antagonists have been found to increase risk of hip and thigh fractures.

Common proton pump inhibitors (e.g. Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium), as well as histamine-2 receptor antagonists, Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac, are known for easing stomach acid.

A study by Douglas A. Corley, in addition to prior findings, confirmed that such drugs generally used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease increase users' risk of foodborne infections and fractures.

Corley's study collected data on more than 160,000 individuals who use, as well as do not use, these medications. Data showed people with hip fractures were 30% more likely to be taking proton pump inhibitors over two years, and those suffering from hip fractures were 18% increased fracture if taking histamine-2 receptor antagonists.

According to Elton Strauss, chief of Orthopaedic Trauma and Adult Reconstruction at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in N.Y.C, "The key to this article is awareness for both the physician prescribing the meds and the patient taking them. It is the classic problem in medicine of risks versus benefits."

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