Many Americans want to stop taking PPIs and may have done it secretly

In a recent study from Michigan Medicine, a team examined the varying levels of concern among patients who are prescribed PPIs and their attempts to independently discontinue their use.

They found that nearly 80% of patients had at least some concern about PPI side effects, even if they couldn’t necessarily name any specific side effects.

In addition, nearly 40% had attempted to stop their PPI use in the past because of these concerns, while a large majority of them — 83% — did so without a doctor’s recommendation.

The study is published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. One author is Jacob Kurlander, M.D., a clinical lecturer and gastroenterologist at Michigan Medicine.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are one of the most commonly used medications in the United States.

While PPIs are effective at treating symptoms such as heartburn or an upset stomach, they also have a role in preventing bleeding ulcers in patients at increased risk.

However, side effects have been reported in different PPI studies, including bone fractures, infectious diarrhea, kidney disease, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

This national study was an online survey administered to adults who take PPIs for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, a digestive condition that affects millions of Americans every year.

The team found a majority of the people that we assessed reported using PPIs at least daily, while 73% said that they took PPIs for more than two years.

About 90% of surveyed people reported moderate to complete resolution of GERD symptoms upon using their prescribed PPIs.

About 89% of participants stated they started using PPIs based on a provider’s recommendation.

While all the patients were using the PPI to treat GERD symptoms, 24% also benefitted from PPI for the prevention of peptic ulcer bleeding, even if this was not the main reason for using the medication.

The study also found that patients who were at high risk for ulcer bleeding were no less likely to have tried stopping their PPI.

This suggests that patients were truly taking matters into their own hands when it comes to these drugs and their use.

The team is working to discover more about what patients and their providers understand the uses for PPIs and when it is or is not advisable to stop use.

They hope to explore the reasons such a large proportion of their sample had tried to discontinue their PPIs without the recommendation of their health care providers.

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