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Studies Link PPIs With Complications From Covid-19

Studies Link Heartburn Medications To Increased Risk Of Covid-19

Recent studies indicate that there is a connection between heartburn medication and Covid-19. When medications cause injuries and severe side effects, protect your legal rights by calling our dangerous drug lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are used to treat many stomach acid-related ailments like heartburn, Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and peptic ulcers. They work by preventing or slowing the body’s ability to produce stomach acid.

Millions of people across the country take some type of PPI, whether to occasionally self-medicate or treat a chronic condition. They are available over-the-counter and by prescription. Some of the most common over-the-counter PPIs include Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec. Other names of PPIs include Omeprazole, Esomeprazole, Lansoprazole, Dexilant, and Pantoprazole/Protonix.

Like all medications, PPIs have side-effects. PPIs can increase the risk of bone fractures, pneumonia, and kidney disease. New research shows that protein pump inhibitors might also heartburn increase your risk of getting Covid-19.

PPI heartburn medication can also increase the severity of Covid-19 and result in serious complications from the virus. It is believed that reducing the amount of acid in the stomach can have a detrimental effect on your ability to fend off Covid-19.

Studies Show Connection Between PPIs and Covid-19

One study of the connection between Covid-19 and PPIs was published in Gut, an international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology. The study found that people taking PPIs had a higher risk for severe Covid-19 symptoms and complications than those who were not taking any heartburn drugs.

A second study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that people taking PPIs also had a higher risk of getting Covid-19. The risk of getting Covid-19 increased with higher, more frequent doses of PPIs.

How Can Heartburn Drugs Affect Covid-19 Risks and Complications?

It is not entirely clear just how PPIs might create a greater risk of getting Covid-19 and suffering complications. Protein pump inhibitors suppress stomach acid, and researchers believe this might result in some of the following:

  • Research suggests that the Covid-19 virus has trouble surviving in an acidic environment. In someone with normal or high amounts of stomach acid, the Covid-19 virus might not live long, if at all. However, having low amounts of stomach acid might allow Covid-19 to survive longer in the body, giving it more time to spread and cause complications.
  • Covid-19 tends to invade and replicate in cells located in the intestines. Having low amounts of stomach acid might help facilitate this process.
  • PPIs can also lower your body’s immune-fighting response making you more susceptible to the virus and complications.

What Are Some Covid-19 Complications that Might Occur?

Covid-19 symptoms range from mild things like fever, cough, and loss of taste and smell. As we know, for many people, Covid-19 complications can be severe enough to cause problems that lead to death. Risk factors that make Covid-19 particularly dangerous include: age, having a compromised immune system, and having underlying illnesses. Research suggests that taking PPIs might be added to this list.

Some of the most severe complications from Covid-19 might include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Then need for a ventilator
  • Time in ICU
  • Enlargement of the heart
  • Stroke
  • Death

Research shows that the risk of complications from Covid-19 increases more if you take a PPI twice a day than if you take a PPI once a day.

What Should You Do If You Take PPIs?

If you take Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Zegerid, or any other PPI, you should speak to your doctor about the risks and weigh them against the benefits to your health. If you suffer from a life-threatening bleeding ulcer, the risks associated with not taking your PPI are likely worse than the risks of staying on the medication.

You and your health care provider should discuss a plan that is best for you. The decision you come to might depend on the condition your PPI treats. You might be taking a PPI for:

  • Severe esophagitis
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • History of a bleeding ulcer
  • Chronic use of NSAIDs
  • GERD
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Acid Reflux
  • Occasional heartburn
  • Indigestion

Depending on your condition, you and your doctor might decide to lower your dose, take a break, stop taking the medication, or leave things as they are.

Contact Alonso Krangle, LLP to Protect Your Legal Rights

PPIs have been the subject of litigation over the years, with lawsuits containing allegations that they have dangerous side effects and that manufacturers failed to warn the public about their risks.

Contact Alonso Krangle, LLP at 1 800-403-6191 to protect your legal rights after being injured by a dangerous drug.