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Potentially serious consequences associated with a particularly popular drug class resulted in this week's top search term. A study in BMJ Open that included more than 6 million people determined that proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) may be associated with an increased risk for death. PPIs are available by prescription and over-the-counter and are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux and peptic ulcer disease. Use of the medication nearly doubled from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012. The study found that PPI use was associated with a 25% increased risk for death from all causes, compared with histamine-2 blocker use. These findings reiterate the need to limit use of these drugs only where specifically indicated. Guidelines for deprescribing have been recently published to help clinicians reduce unnecessary PPI use.
For more information on gastroesophageal reflux treatment, read here.