Antacids Associated with Dementia

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JAMA, the medical journal, published a report yesterday associating antacids with dementia. Antacids, called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), are sold to 15 million Americans as prescriptions as well as over-the-counter medications to treat gastric acid conditions such as GERD, (gastroesophageal reflux disease), and others. The study was conducted in Germany and observed 73,000 people over age 75 from 2004 to 2011 and found that those taking PPIs regularly showed increased risk of developing dementia as opposed to the none-PPI group. Drugs included omeprazole (Priolosec, Zegerid), pantoprazole (Protonix, Protonix IV), lansoprazole (Prevacid), esomeprazole (Nexium), or rabeprazole (Aciphex). The authors suggest that people over age 75 should avoid overuse of PPIs, though the study acknowledges that these results alone cannot be used to prove a causal relationship between PPIs and dementia. A different study of 26,000 Kaiser Permanente patients in 2013 indicated that the regular use of PPIs for more than two years had a 65% increased risk of developing a B12 deficiency which, when untreated, can increase the risk of dementia. PPIs shut down the stomach cells producing acid and can no longer produce a protein that helps absorb vitamin B12, therefore resulting in its deficiency. A recommendation to those taking PPIs is to be alert for side effects and to check with a physician on continued use. From: http://www.examiner.com/article/new-study-associates-antacids-with-dementia

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