heartburn drugs must warn of fracture risk

In late May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told drug companies they’d need to put new warning labels on popular heartburn drugs. The issue? Long-term use of these antacids can lead to more fractures of the hips, the wrists and the spine. The affected class of drugs are proton-pump inhibitors, which halt production of acid in the stomach. And while that can reduce heartburn symptoms and protect against esophageal cancers, stomach acid is critical for absorbing the minerals needed for healthy bones. The new warning labels apply to both prescription and over-the-counter versions of the medications, whose familiar brand names include Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and Protonix. (Via Drugs.com.)



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