The UK has been issuing at least 50 million subscriptions every year for proton pump inhibitors. This demand underlines the drug’s popularity with those who need treatment for acid reflux. However, a new study has just indicated that this drug can double the risk of developing stomach cancer.
PPIs Are the Most Common Stomach Acid Inhibitors in UK
Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs are the most solicited pills for acid reflux and stomach ulcers. This substance can reduce the amount of acid the stomach secretes significantly. However, it turns out that this treatment is a double-edged sword.
Journal Gut has just published a study that intercepted a connection between long-term treatment with PPIs and higher chances of developing stomach cancer. In fact, the prolonged use of this drug can increase risks of fifth most common cancer by 2.4 times. Even though PPIs have been previously linked to other side effects and increased fatal risks, the chemical still grew popular with British citizens.
The findings resulted from the joint work of the University of Hong Kong and University College London. They compared the side effects of PPI against another treatment known as H2 blockers in 63,397 participants. Both of them limit the acid in the stomach and also the population of Helicobacter pylori. These bacteria are the triggers for ulcers and even cancer.
Daily Use of PPIs Increases Risks of Developing Stomach Cancer by Four Times
Participants were treated with a triple therapy consisting of PPI and antibiotics for a week at any point between 2003 and 2012. Scientists then investigated their health development from 2012 to 2015. During this period, 3,271 people continued to take PPIs for almost three years. Other 21,729 took H2 blockers.
In the end, 153 participants were diagnosed with stomach cancer. None of them recorded positive tests for Helicobacter pylori. Nonetheless, all of them had stomach inflammation in common.
Main findings pointed out that H2 blockers have no influence on cancer risk. On the other hand, PPIs more than doubled risk factors for stomach cancer.
Daily use of PPIs increased the illness developing risk four times than those participants who used it weekly. After three or more years of treatment with PPIs, the risks increased eight-fold.
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