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Heartburn Drugs Linked to Pneumonia(Nexium, Pepcid & Prilosec)

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RedEarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 03:36 PM
Original message
Heartburn Drugs Linked to Pneumonia(Nexium, Pepcid & Prilosec)
CHICAGO -- Widely used heartburn and ulcer drugs such as Nexium, Pepcid and Prilosec can make people more susceptible to pneumonia, probably because they reduce germ-killing stomach acid, Dutch researchers found in a study of more than 300,000 patients.

The highest risks occurred with more powerful acid-fighting drugs called proton pump inhibitors, which are sold in the United States under such brand names as Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec. Over nearly three years, users of these drugs faced almost double the risk of developing pneumonia compared with former users.

Users of another class of acid-fighting drugs that includes cimetidine and famotidine -- sold in the United States as Tagamet and Pepcid -- also faced an elevated risk.

The study was led by researcher Robert J.F. Laheij at University Medical Center St. Radboud in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

The acid in normal stomach fluids generally kills harmful bacteria; suppressing it with drugs to treat heartburn and ulcers may make the body more hospitable to such germs, which may then infect the lungs and cause pneumonia, the researchers said.

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-heartburn-drugs-pneumonia,0,4047739.story?coll=sns-ap-nationworld-headlines
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Parche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. tagamet
I cant stomach this report
And I take Tagamet
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CAcyclist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks for the heads up
Yet more evidence that these newer drugs haven't been investigated well enough before being allowed on the market.
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MaryH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I'm not giving up my Previcid
Acid Reflux just makes me nuts.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. oh, you know it Mary
a bad bout can ruin my entire day
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medeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. me too
lost my voice this weekend tho..thinking Prevacid is not cutting it.
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Bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
35. You cant use prevacid that much....
Only twice a year
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demokatgurrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. Probably like many of you, I've been popping this stuff
like candy the past couple of months. But, I've never had pneumonia.
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joeunderdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
37. ED is another possible side-effect of some antacids over time.
Of course the manufacturers (and docs) don't mention this much when you take your daily double of it.

That'll make your stomache turn!
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. Remember Thalidomide?
That was the drug invented in Germany & marketed in Europe & the UK back in the late 50's. It was often given to pregnant women as a sleeping aid & for morning sickness.

In 1960, the manufacturer asked the FDA to clear it for use in this country. The reviewer, Frances Kelsey, found problems with testing & documentation; despite pressure from the US distributor, she refused to clear the drug. Soon after, reports of deformed babies born to women who had taken Thalidomide began. If it had been approved as quickly as the drug industry had wished, we would have thousands of adults in the USA showing the effects--missing limbs, etc.

But things have changed at the FDA.
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TaleWgnDg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. I figure it this way . . .
Edited on Tue Oct-26-04 04:29 PM by TaleWgnDg
if these drugs prohibit stomach acid from killing bacteria that are in the stomach or migrate to the stomach which then cause, say, pneumonia, what is to prevent other diseases by the use of these drugs?

Think about it. Why just pneumonia? It seems that these drugs were not allowed appropriate scientific studies -- and it also seems that these drugs mess w/ Mother Nature in ways that were apparently over-looked. I sure hope that it's "apparently" and not intentionally.



go, Red Sox, go !! . . . .



edited: ah-ha! the bacteria migrate from the back of the mouth to the stomach, where the stomach acid having been removed by these drugs is not there to kill these migrated bacteria. back to my original premise: what the hell is there to prevent OTHER diseases as a result of the bacteria in the stomach not being killed?
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/292/16/1955
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mumon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
7. For all you folks out there...
Edited on Tue Oct-26-04 04:24 PM by Kanzeon
Sorry to get a bit preachy, but:

1. If you get heartburn, a raw apple works wonders (not the sour kinds, but a Fuji or Gala). It's the pectin. Better than anything else. If you still have heartburn, eat another.

2. Lose weight. Exercise. The heartburn willgo away. I speak from experience. Cut out saturated fats and all refined sugars and starches. Eat fiber, lots of fiber especially soluble fiber.

This stuff they sell really justs suppresses symptoms, and you could get a gallstone before you know it.

I speak from experience
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Change of Diet Helps
For me, it was a simple choice: either coffee or Mexican food had to go.

Coffee was replaced by tea and I've never been bothered since.

Reflux and heartburn aren't the same thing, though. Reflux is like the burp that sets your esophegas on fire.
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mountainvue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. I found that after I switched to
an organic coffee, especially the Kona or Breakfast blends, I had much less acid reflux.
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toddaa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. GERD (acid reflux)
I've got it and I basically just changed my diet (no beef, pork, or fried foods; lot's of veggies and beans), dropped 45 pounds, and cut way back on coffee. It went away. My doctor says that severe GERD only affects a very small percentage of people who need PPI to control their symptoms.

Don't tell the big drug companies, but expensive drugs are not the answer for the majority of people suffering heartburn.
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demokatgurrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. response to your advice
1) exercise: I run 5 miles per day, and lift weights.
2) lose weight: at 5'6" I weigh 132 lbs. But, I have lost- a year ago I weighed 148. Reflux has not changed.
3) eat apples: I eat about 2 a day.
Still have reflux.

I know you're trying to be helpful but the same things don't work for everyone.
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tlcandie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. And also.. I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but
I would like to note that sometimes food combining works to help lessen these effects. I have issues if I eat various foods together and the timing in between eating certain foods.

If you have not tried this, you might check it out. Can't hurt!
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DemExpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #15
40. I have found that if I eat carbs early in the day
I get bad indigestion that lasts all day long, but if I save my carb foods til later, like after 4 pm, I do fine.
Not eating too late before bedtime helps me too.

:hi:
DemEx
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
8. Hmmm. small increased risk of pneumonia... or significant risk of
esophageal cancer for those with chronic gastric esophageal reflux disease (GERD)..... I know where I come down...
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
11. i'm on pepcid
and have noticed a huge upswing in folks being diagnosed with GERD. this is puzzling...what is causing this?? my physician could give me no concise answers, just treated the problem. oh, and i'm supposed to take this daily...FOR LIFE.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. People just used to tolerate "indigestion"
Now, they go to the doctor, and have the name for what they have suffered from.:)
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. i think there's more to it
i never used to have acid reflux EVERY DAY.
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tlcandie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. So, if you must take these meds...
eat lots of organic yogurt!! Get those good cultures back into the tummy!!
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The Flaming Red Head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
17. Esophageal Varices or Pneumonia
Edited on Tue Oct-26-04 06:13 PM by The Flaming Red Head
I dont know which is worse. Bahhhhhhhhhh.

I'd hate to wake up with a pillow full of blood. I take Ranitidine or Cimetidine all the time. No, choice, really.
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RhodaGrits Donating Member (688 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. My dad died at age 49 of complications from a bleed from
esophageal varices, I've got severe acid reflux that doubles me over from pain without drugs. Biopsy is fine now. I just recovered from pneumonia at age 48. Choose your poison eh?
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Zayin Donating Member (32 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-26-04 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
20. Someone email this to Ashlee Simpson
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
23. There is a vaccine to protect against pneumonia.

You only need a shot every five years.



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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
24. I've been taking cimetidine for years and have never gotten pnemonia
It works on the chronic upset stomach, and I never had any negative side effects from it.
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Red State Rebel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
25. I can't live without Prilosec OTC - I've become like junkie
trying to find it in stock in different drug stores during this "shortage". I had been without for about 3 weeks, eating Zantac like candy, and found some at our local Walgreens, bought over $60.00 worth so I'm good for almost 3 months.

Nothing else works for me. I've been hyperacid for years.
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Chico Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. Being a Cards fan isn't going to help you!
May want to move to Boston!!!

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Red State Rebel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. ROFL, nice try! Last night I was ready to open a vein
when Suppan screwed up on the 3rd base deal. Aaaarrrrggghhhh!!!
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. I know what ya mean! I was so unset I shut the tilly off.
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Chico Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #32
41. There's only one team that has come back from a 3-0 deficit
Edited on Wed Oct-27-04 04:40 PM by shpongled
Unfortunately it's the one you are against!
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Red State Rebel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Don't remind me :)....n/m
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #25
31. Jesus, go to your doctor and
get a generic prescription for the stuff. Insist on generic, and they'll fill it, even as an OTC. You'll probably save a fortune if you have any med coverage.
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Red State Rebel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Good idea - thanks! n/m
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tomfodw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
27. Untreated acid reflux can kill
I began suffering from acid reflux in early 1999. After a few months, the heartburn was unbearable. I couldn't fall asleep at night, if I did I would awaken vomiting stomach acid.

I started taking Prevacid (I now take nonprescription Prilosec), and my heartburn has mostly abated. (I also undertook lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating differently, drinking less alcohol, not eating 3 hours before going to bed, etc.) Before starting this regimen, I was suffering from erosive esophagitis, which untreated might have led to Barrett's Esophagus, which untreated might have led to esophageal cancer.

A risk of pneumonia is nothing to dismiss lightly; neither is anything that might lead to esophageal cancer. Medications such as Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium not only reduce acid reflux; over time, they actually can heal the lesions in the lower esophagus caused by acid reflux, reverse erosive esophagitis and even Barrett's Esophagus. This is a definite GOOD THING and also not to be dismissed lightly, especially if you suffer (and I mean suffer) from serious GERD, as I did before starting my treatment.

These drugs can literally be a life-saver.

In any case, the proper way of being cautious is not to stop taking these medications, if you need them, but to (of course) ASK YOUR DOCTOR.
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Throckmorton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. You got that right,
Edited on Wed Oct-27-04 02:11 PM by Throckmorton
it is the most likely cause of the late Mrs Throckmortons Esophageal Cancer. She suffered with it for years, but would never seek treatment. When it got to the point that she couldn't eat, it was too late.

April L. Lowell 9/16/1963 to 3/14/2004
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #27
39. What do I know, but it sounds like your diet and habits led
to the problem in the first place. These are the drugs they try to sell on TV during 60 minutes. They seem to be unnecessary if people are reasonable with the foods they eat and so on.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
28. As with any highly advertised drugs, these may have been over-prescribed.
Lots of garden-variety heartburn can be solved with changes in diet, etc. People should try the more conservative route first--no drugs are totally free of side effects.

But some people really need these drugs or something like them. Research should continue to make things safer for them. Question: Will the pharmaceutical companies think it's worth their trouble?
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young_at_heart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
29. I took Prilosec for four months and ended up bad case of Thrush
I then had to take Diflucan for several weeks. Very painful, but I lost weight because I couldn't eat....I will NEVER take Prilosec again! We need a little stomach acid.....nature put it there for a reason.
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funkhowser Donating Member (30 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. indigestion?
Edited on Wed Oct-27-04 03:00 PM by funkhowser
Sorry, this is beyond indigestion. My dad would end up with GERD attacks that mimicked heart attack symptoms and had quite a few visits to the ER until he was properly diagnosed and put on meds (he did have cardiac issues too).

My wife has Barret's Esophagus. Her symptoms were mild onset and she had some problems sleeping related to constant indigestion. She went to a gastro doc, he did an endoscopy and surprise, pre-cancerous. She has asthma too and each winter, she's usually good for a bout or two of pneumonia. Her uncle (never smoked) was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and a month later, was dead. This is not something to play with or have your doc poo-poo your concerns (have a friend "diagnosed" with GERD ... he told his PCP his symptoms, response (no testing) "you have GERD, take 2 Rolaids before meals and 2 right after").

Edited to add: My wife now goes for annual endoscopies to stay on top of the state of her esophagus.
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young_at_heart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-27-04 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. I had an endoscopy.....acute GERD was the diagnosis
They put me on Prilosec 2X a day and the doc said I'd probably have to take it the rest of my life. I eventually changed doctors and was put on Tagamet. I think Prilosec has its place, but some doctors need to monitor better and think about possible side effects. You're right, it is a serious disease....I'm having real trouble right now, but I'm afraid to take Prilosec.
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