Main Heart Health Risks Associated with Proton Pump Inhibitors

People who have established cardiovascular conditions, and people who are taking the blood thinner Plavix or Clopidogrel that is used to help prevent heart attacks and strokes are at a much higher risk of having a heart attack if they take Proton Pump Inhibitors.

While people with a history of cardiovascular complications and diseases are at the greatest risk of having a heart attack when they take the proton pump inhibitors for a long period of time, these medications can also increase the chances of heart attacks in people who have no history of these diseases.

Medications known as Proton pump inhibitors are designed to help relieve, or prevent heartburn. These medications include Prevacid or lansoprazole, Aciphex or rabeprazole, Nexium or esomeprazole, Protonix or pantoprazole and Prilosec or omeprazole. They are normally considered to be quite safe, but they were never intended to be used for long periods of time, and they can increase your chances of having a heart attack by as much as sixteen percent.

H2 blockers are also used to stop heartburn, but they do not have the same risks associated with them that proton pump inhibitors do. Some of the H2 blockers include Tagamet or cimetidine, Pepcid or famotidine, Axid or nizatidine, Zantac or ranitidine.

What can be done?

If you are having less heartburn because you are taking a proton pump inhibitor, then you should try one of the H2 blockers to see if they can be just as effective for you. By switching to an H2 blocker you might be able to reduce your risk of a heart attack, and still have the heartburn relief that you need.

What the studies revealed

The studies did not reveal proton pump inhibitors to be causing heart attacks. The studies show that sixteen percent more of the people taking proton pump inhibitors are more likely to have a heart attack than people who are taking nothing for heart burn relief, or people who are taking H2 blockers.

What you can do

If you have frequent bouts of heart burn the best thing you can do is to start addressing the condition with natural lifestyle changes instead of long term medications. Some of the lifestyle changes you can make that will help you to reduce attacks of heartburn are:

  • Not taking uncoated aspirin
  • Avoiding really spicy foods
  • Do not smoke cigarettes or use tobacco products
  • Reduce your consumption of caffeine
  • Reduce your consumption of alcohol
  • Avoid foods like pizza sauces
  • Avoid carbonated beverages
  • Reduce stress
  • Do not lie down within thirty minutes of eating
  • Eat several small meals each day instead of three large meals
  • Do not eat while driving, reading, or watching television. When you eat make sure you chew your food thoroughly and you concentrate on eating. That will reduce over eating.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Elevate the head of your bed slightly