proton pump inhibitor medications

Link Between Proton Pump Inhibitors and Stomach Cancer

A Dangerous Side Effect to Proton Pump Inhibitors

A recent medical study evaluating the group of people taking proton pump inhibitors saw an increase in stomach cancer among the individuals taking PPIs. Proton pump inhibitors are a class of drugs that block the production of acid within the stomach. They are the most commonly used drugs in the world, often taken to prevent and treat acid-related conditions such as ulcers. There are over a dozen variations of PPIs, both over-the-counter and prescribed, including Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid.

Determining the Association

In a population-based study conducted in Hong Kong, researchers discovered that individuals who used a PPI long-term had an increased risk of developing gastric cancer versus those who didn’t. Helicobacter pylori is bacterium found in the stomach that increases the risk of developing ulcers. The Hong Kong study analyzed over 60,000 participants who had H. pylori bacteria successfully eradicated from their stomach. Half of the participants were taking PPIs and half were not. The goal of the researchers was to see if there were any noticeable gastrointestinal changes among the two groups in the seven years after the H. pylori was successfully treated. Ultimately, the results showed a twofold increase in stomach cancer among the individuals taking PPI’s at least twice per week. The incidence increased to nearly eightfold for those participants who took PPIs long-term and daily. Since this is a population-based study, it analyzes the links between factors but cannot determine whether one causes the other. However, researchers concluded that “physicians should exercise caution when prescribing long-term PPIS to H. pylori-infected individuals even after successful eradication of H. pylori.”

Contact Your Stomach Cancer Attorneys

Whether it’s over-the-counter or prescription, it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to make sure the products are safe. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with stomach cancer and has taken a proton pump inhibitor, contact GoldenbergLaw for a free case evaluation. There’s no fee unless we recover.


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