Stomach-sparing drugs can lead to decreased bone density and fractures

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 – 14:11 | Last Updated: 17 03 2021 – 14:11

of drugs known as gastric protective in Turkey very often, unnecessary and prolonged use, indicating that the Department of Gastroenterology Assoc. Dr. Bülent Yaşar said, “Although they are generally considered safe, acid-suppressing drugs can lead to a decrease in bone density and fractures, intestinal and lung infections, magnesium and vitamin B12 deficiencies in high doses for more than 1 year.”

Gastroenterology Department Lecturer Assoc. Dr. Bülent Yaşar explained the points that need to be taken into account when using stomach protective drugs. Assoc. Dr. Yaşar stated that the main effect of the drugs known as ‘stomach protection’ in the society is to reduce the production of stomach acid. “However, stomach acid is not harmful as it is thought. It is necessary for the digestion of proteins, for the absorption of certain drugs such as iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and thyroid hormone by the body. In addition, stomach acid prevents ingested microorganisms from reaching the intestines and proliferating and intestinal infections that may develop in this way, ”he said.


Stating that proton pump inhibitors known as acid suppressors have been in use since the 80’s, Assoc. Dr. Yaşar said, “These are among the drug groups that are used frequently, unnecessarily and for a long time in the world and in our country. In different studies, it was found that 25 to 70 percent of patients used this group of drugs unnecessarily. The definition of these drugs as ‘stomach protector’ in our country is the main reason for this unnecessary use. In addition, all patients who use medication for chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure and heart use protective stomach medicines. Efforts to reduce gastric acid for protection during these treatments are not a correct and necessary approach, and may cause different problems in the long term. “It is a situation that we frequently encounter with regular use of stomach medications for years, although they do not get any response, especially in patients who are defined as ‘dyspepsia’ and actually have complaints related to stress, nutrition and lifestyle.


Assoc. Dr. Yaşar pointed out that long-term use of acid-suppressing drugs causes many problems and gave the following information:

“Although they are generally considered safe, acid suppressing drugs can lead to decreased bone density and fractures, intestinal and lung infections, magnesium and vitamin B12 deficiencies in high doses and longer than 1 year. Therefore, short-term and low-dose use should be preferred. It is sufficient to use acid suppressing drugs for 4-8 weeks in the treatment of reflux disease, gastritis and ulcer, and 14 days in the treatment of Helicobacter pylori. “


Noting that there are some exceptional cases, Assoc. Dr. Yaşar said, “Those with severe esophageal damage due to reflux and ‘Barrett’ cellular changes can use these drugs for long-term under the supervision of a physician. Likewise, those who receive treatment for esophageal strictures; The elderly, with a history of additional diseases and ulcer bleeding or perforation, and special patient groups who have to use painkillers, aspirin and blood thinners for a long time may also use stomach medicines for a long time with the recommendation and follow-up of the physician.

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