Do reflux meds really increase fracture risk?

Find out what the latest research says

There is no evidence linking common acid suppressive medications to an increased risk of osteoporosis, a study finds.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been associated with potentially serious side effects including hip fractures but the latest research suggests the drugs, which are commonly used to control gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms, do not pose a risk for bone health.

The study included 521 patients with Barrett’s oeosphagus.

Independent risk factors for osteoporotic fractures included older age, female gender and greater co-morbidities.

The researchers note that these patients are ideal for testing the association between PPI use and osteoporosis-related fractures as treatment is necessarily long-term and high-dose.

They found that despite being strongly medicated for prolonged periods, these patients were no more likely to have bone fractures or osteoporosis than the general population.

“While fractures (both osteoporotic and from any aetiology) are not uncommon in subjects with Barrett’s oeosphagus, their incidence is not increased … regardless of the duration of use and dosing strategy,” write the US authors in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Read the full study here