Taking one of the popular heartburn drugs such as Nexium, Prevacid or Prilosec? If you’re over the age of 50 take heed—taking the drugs for more than a year can raise your chances of a broken hip, a British study found.
The study results call into question the safety of heartburn drugs that are taken by millions of people. Researchers speculate that heartburn drugs, used to reduce acid in the stomach, also make it more difficult to absorb calcium that is needed for bones, which can lead to fractures. Hip fractures in the elderly often result in life-threatening complications.
Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec belong to a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. In the study, patients who used proton pump inhibitors for over a year had a 44 percent higher risk of a hip fractures than those who didn’t use the drugs. The longer a patient took the drugs, the more risk the patient had for hip fractures.