Heartburn Medication & Stomach Cancer Risk

Does taking heartburn medication increase the risk of developing stomach cancer? Yes, but the risk depends on the type of heartburn medication you take.

A study published in the BMJ in December 2017 looked at people who took heartburn medication called proton pump inhibitors, which are sold under names like Prilosec and Prevacid.

Their data showed that in study participants who used proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), the stomach cancer risk doubled. The risk of developing stomach cancer increased further when factoring in how often study participants took PPIs (daily or weekly) and for how long they took the medication (1-5 years).

As stated in the study, ““The risk of gastric cancer increases with the dose and duration of PPIs use.”

Still, the study’s lead author, Dr. Wai Keung Leung, emphasized that in spite of the study’s findings, heartburn medications shouldn’t be written off entirely because they do provide relief to people who are suffering.

Whether to use certain kinds of heartburn medications, such as proton pump inhibitors, is a matter of carefully weighing the benefits and the risks with your healthcare provider.

Ready the complete study online: http://gut.bmj.com/content/67/1/28

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