PPI Drug Use, Misuse, and Risks

If you or a loved one have suffered stomach cancer due to PPI drug use, you should contact a PPI stomach cancer attorney right away.

Proton Pump Inhibitors hit the market in the late 1970s and Omeprazole, now known as the generic name for Prilosec. Prilosec of Omeprazole is of the proton pump inhibitor family, and although it was the first, it hasn’t been forgotten. Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors are commonly used over-the-counter medications for GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. So why is it only now that PPI drug use is coming under a bit of a severe lens?

About 20% of Americans have acid reflux to a severe degree or have GERD. PPI can also treat a number of other stomach and esophagus issues, but commonly it’s for GERD and acid reflux. Unfortunately, its widespread use and misuse from over-the-counter availability have led to serious public health concerns.

The Popularity of Proton Pump Inhibitors

In 2003 Prilosec and a number of other proton pump inhibitors became available over-the-counter without a prescription. What happened previously was that your doctor would suggest that you change your diet, take calcium supplements to lessen the pain involved in heartburn and more. Then, as a last resort, they would prescribe a PPI. But they would also meter the prescription to ensure that it wasn’t abused.

Proton pump inhibitors became exceptionally popular when no one could control how often they can take the medication. That leads to people taking it improperly or without the guidance of a doctor. The popularity and demand from more than the 20% of the affected population that should have had it prescribed continued to rise after 2003.

How Most Users Take PPI Medications

So, how you’re supposed to take PPI medication is one per day, for 14-days, on an empty stomach, at roughly the same time each day. Then you would wait about three months before taking another cycle. However, like most over-the-counter medications, it’s not what happens when people are taking medication at home. When a doctor writes a prescription, they can say, “this is how you take this, and you’re not getting a refill.” However, when something is available over the counter, people take it however they please because over-the-counter distributors and manufacturers can only make recommendations.

It’s recommended that you take PPIs the way that a doctor would prescribe. However, it’s only a recommendation. In theory, you can take that medication however you think is best for you. Most people do. In fact, most people take one a day without a break. That has resulted in the substantial increase in stomach cancer cases linked to PPI drug use.

Even when you take it as prescribed, there’s the chance that using a PPI medication will result in a doubled risk of developing stomach cancer. Now, with people taking it every day without any break, there’s quite possibly a much higher risk.

Risks of PPI Drug Use

The risks of PPI drug use include an increased risk for developing kidney disease, low vitamin B12, low magnesium, pneumonia, stroke, dementia, and stomach cancer. So far, stomach cancer has become the most common and most concerning risk. Of course, pneumonia and stroke are concerning side effects. However, through life changes, you can manage stroke risk. With careful physical habits, you can reduce the risk of pneumonia.

People simply don’t know how to reduce the risk of stomach cancer while still taking PPI medication as they normally would. Of course, the plan of reducing the dependence on PPIs is to make healthful and mindful diet changes. Lifestyle changes such as exercise may also contribute to a lessened dependence on PPIs.

For many people, PPIs are necessary and extended use may be necessary also. Aside from GERD, people taking PPIs for ulcer prophylaxis and other diseases that come from overactive histamine receptors. There’s no alternative solution for these users, and it’s vital that the risks be addressed clearly.

When to Contact a PPI Stomach Cancer Attorney

Looking for a law firm that handles PPI stomach cancer should always start right in your town. Having a local lawyer is not only convenient, but it can help you both communicate clearly without costly travel fees. You can find a Boston PPI stomach cancer attorney at Rueb Stoller Daniel. Calling our offices can initiate the discussion about your use of a PPI and the cancer diagnosis you received.

It may be possible to pursue compensation from the pharmaceutical manufacturer for not clearly informing users of the risks involved. Take action, because we know that if you were made aware of the high cancer risk that you may have talked about alternatives with your doctor. Reach out to Rueb Stoller Daniel law offices today.