Long-term heartburn medication use tied to higher risk of early death
In some cases, addressing the root cause of heartburn could reduce symptoms without need for medication
Omeprazole (Losec) is one proton pump inhibitor drug available in Canada. Before turning to medications for heartburn, doctors recommend avoiding acidic and spicy foods, smoking, chocolate and decreasing alcohol consumption.
Long-term use of a class of drugs that treat heartburn may be linked to a shortened lifespan, but doctors still need to determine if the risk of using proton pump inhibitor medication outweighs the benefits for individuals.
The class of medications includes Omeprazole (Losec), esomeprazole (Nexium) and lansoprazole (Prevacid), and at a lower dose, the over-the-counter drug Olex.
Millions of Canadians take these drugs to reduce the symptoms of heartburn, ulcer and other gastrointestinal problems by lowering the amount of acid in the stomach. They work by turning off pumps that produce acid in the stomach.