Several studies have shown a connection between certain acid
suppression medicines and an increased chance of breaking a hip. The medicines
in this study are in a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPI). They
include Nexium®, Prevacid® and Prilosec®. PPI medicines are used very commonly to
treat conditions such as heartburn and acid reflux disease.
The link between the PPI medicines and the risk of a broken
hip appears to be a problem only for people on fairly high doses, equal to 40
mg or more a day, for a long period of time. People who use over-the-counter or
even prescription doses once in a while should not be concerned.
Talk to your doctor
first before stopping your medicine. Many people take these medicines for
serious medical conditions. These medicines are important for people with major
health problems, but they are not for everyone. Patients should be prescribed
the lowest effective dose available to treat their condition(s). People
concerned about taking these medicines should speak with their doctor or other
healthcare provider about whether they need to continue using the medicines.
Ask your healthcare
provider if you need a bone mineral density test. Long-term use of the PPI
medicines may increase your chance of getting osteoporosis and having broken
bones. If you are on high doses of these medicines for a long time, speak with
your healthcare provider about whether you should have a bone density test.
Your calcium needs.
To keep their bones healthy, adults need to have a balanced diet. This includes
eating a variety of fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich foods. It is especially
important for people taking PPI medicines to get at least 1,200 mg of calcium
every day. While some people on these medicines may need a bit more calcium,
they should not get more than 1,500 mg a day.
If you don’t get enough calcium from food, you need to take
calcium supplements to get the rest of the calcium that you need. If you are
taking PPI medicines, you may want to take calcium citrate supplements rather
than other calcium supplements. Because these medicines block stomach acid,
your body may absorb calcium citrate better than other types of calcium
supplements. Unlike other calcium supplements, calcium citrate does not need
stomach acid to be absorbed.
If you take another type of calcium supplement, like calcium
carbonate, be sure to take it with a meal or snack. Your body makes stomach
acid when you eat. Most calcium supplements need stomach acid to dissolve and
for calcium to be absorbed.
behaviors. Like calcium, vitamin D is also important for your bone health.
It helps your body absorb calcium. People under age 50 need between 400 and 800
international units (IU) of vitamin D every day. People age 50 and older need
between 800 and 1,000 IU of vitamin D every day. Some people may need even
more. Getting regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise helps
keep your bones strong and healthy. Drinking too much alcohol and smoking is
harmful to your bones.
Abstract of the PPI
You may view the abstract of the study reported in JAMA by
visiting this Web page:
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