Edited By Emily Miller
Published: February 22, 2018
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February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. Each day, 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease — that’s about one death every 38 seconds.

What people may not know is that some prescription heartburn drugs like Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid can increase the risk of heart problems. These drugs are called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

About 15 million Americans take PPIs each year — potentially putting themselves at risk for heart problems.

In this Drugwatch Podcast, holistic health practitioner and Drugwatch expert Rebecca Montrone explains how PPIs may cause heart problems and other side effects.

“We’re getting into a whole deep bed here when we talk about acid reflux and medications,” Montrone said. “We are impacting all of our body systems unknowingly when we take something to get rid of this acid reflux, which is not solving the problem. It’s just getting rid of the pain.”

For example, PPIs inhibit nitric oxide (which increases blood flow), according to Montrone. This can cause cardiovascular problems and erectile dysfunction.

PPIs also increase estrogen production which interferes with testosterone levels in men.

In addition to talking about PPI side effects, Montrone recommends some non-pharmaceutical ways to combat acid reflux.

Side Effect Information
In addition to heart problems, PPIs have been linked to kidney problems and acute interstitial nephritis. Learn more.
View Side Effects