Harvard Men's Health Watch

Too much of a good thing?

Proton-pump inhibitors are among the most-prescribed medications, but is long-term use safe?

ppi proton pump inhibitors
Proton-pump inhibitors reduce stomach acid, which helps to treat symptoms of acid reflux.
Image: kamontad123/Thinkstock

Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal problems, are among the most popular drugs in the United States. In fact, the FDA estimates about one in 14 Americans has used a PPI.

But recent studies show that daily use over a long period may be linked to an increased risk of heart attack, fractures, and dementia. These findings shine a light on the potential dangers of long-term use of medications, especially those like PPIs that help people manage an ongoing condition.

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