Antacid Drugs Increase Risk of Hip Fractures
There was an article in JAMA (12.27.2006 Vol. 296,No. 24) that reported on the elevated risk of hip fractures with the long-term use of antacid drugs (proton pump inhibiters such as Prilosec® and Nexium®) . This study showed a 59% increase risk if antacid medications are used for four years. The authors reported a steady increase in hip fracture rates the longer these drugs were used. Why would this happen? Antacid drugs are effective at blocking hydrochloric acid production of the stomach. But, the consequence of blocking acid production is that it leads to poor mineral absorption as well as poor digestion. The depletion of the body's mineral stores will lead to the body having to use the largest source of minerals, the bones, to supply it with necessary minerals that it needs.
Now someone takes an antacid drug and they begin to develop osteoporosis. What happens next? You know the answer--they will need another drug, this time an osteoporosis drug to treat the problems from the first (antacid) drug. And, the beat goes on.
All drugs have their time and place. However, drugs should not be the first-line treatment for many conditions. There are many natural therapies that can effectively treat stomach problems without side effects. More information on this can be found in my newest book, Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do, 2nd Edition.