January 27, 2016 – OTC PPIs


Anchor lead: Risks relative to a common class of antacids may be underestimated, Elizabeth Tracey reports

PPIs, or proton pump inhibitors, are among the most commonly taken medications in the US and worldwide, but why people start taking them and then continue the practice is unclear.  That’s according to Morgan Grams, a researcher at Johns Hopkins who just identified a link between the drugs and chronic kidney disease.

Grams: There’s some evidence that people who are taking proton pump inhibitors are not taking it for a particularly good reason, or perhaps they’re taking it too long, after their indication is no longer there.  :10

Grams is alarmed that the drugs are sold over the counter, or OTC.

Grams: I would say probably that you don’t want to go OTC, because you need to have a physician monitoring you, at least as we’ve become more and more aware of the possible side effects there are some certain laboratory parameters you might want to be following while you’re taking this medication.  :15

Grams says all persons who take PPIs need to make their primary care physician aware of the practice. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.