Popular OTC and prescription drugs linked to heart attack

Heartachefrom the OmniVista Health Learning News Desk

People pop acid blockers like candy and take them for years on end. And because many are sold over-the-counter (OTC), most people assume they don’t have any negative side effects. The truth: Just because something is sold OTC, doesn’t make it safe or necessary.

In fact, in many cases, the side effects are still unknown and just being uncovered…since many of these drugs have only been studied in short clinical trials.

But a new study is shining a light on these dangerous side effects. It has shown that chronic use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) increases your risk for myocardial infarction. That’s the medical term for a heart attack. And it includes the acid-blocking drugs Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Zegerid, Kapidex, Aciphex, and Protonix.

The researchers report that patients with GERD who were exposed to PPIs had a 16-percent-increased risk of a heart attack. The investigators also found they double your risk of dying from heart disease.

The study’s researchers are not quite sure why the PPI-heart attack risk occurs, but here’s their best guess: it seems that PPI’s alter nitric oxide production, which is very important for maintaining healthy blood vessels.

To learn about other little known hazards to your heart and how to tackle them without dangerous medications, check out The World’s Easiest Heart Disease Cure, by Dr. Fred Pescatore.


“Proton Pump Inhibitor Usage and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction in the General Population.” PLOS One, June 10, 2015.  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/846202