A new study published online in BMJ Open, has reported a possible link between the use of Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) and a heightened risk of death, but did not look at over-the-counter (OTC) products.
John Smith, PAGB Chief Executive, comments:
“These findings should be treated with considerable caution. This is an observational study; its authors acknowledge that no firm conclusions should be made regarding cause and effect. The study only looked at prescription use of PPIs, which are typically used at higher doses and for longer durations. Additionally, the study had several limitations, including the fact that PPI users involved in the study were of an advanced age and may have already had other underlying health conditions and the researchers were unable to obtain information about their causes of death.
“OTC PPIs provide an important health benefit. They are an effective and appropriately safe way to provide short-term relief from heartburn and indigestion, if used in accordance with the clear on-pack instructions and the patient information leaflet inside. We would advise people to consult a pharmacist if their symptoms don’t improve after 14 days or if they have any concerns about their medicine.”