These are today’s powerful acid blocking drugs being used for the treatment of heartburn and acid reflux that we all know so well. There are two different types of them, proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) and histamine H2 receptor blockers (H2 blockers).
Proton Pump Inhibitors
Cells in the lining of the stomach that secrete hydrochloric acid (HCI) contain something called a proton pump, PPI’s block the action of this pump. These powerful drugs can reduce stomach acid by as much as 90%! They keep making these drugs more powerful and longer lasting, now one pill can last a whole day.
The following are listed as common side effects for these types of acid blocking drugs: abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, nausea and vomiting.
Less common effects you could experience include; abdominal swelling, abnormal dreams (I have this and don’t take the pills), aggression, anemia, anxiety, apathy, back pain, breast development in males (could be fun), blood in urine, changes in liver function, chest pain, confusion, constipation, cough, depression, difficulty sleeping, discolored feces, dizziness, dry mouth, dry skin, fatigue, fever, fluid retention and swelling, fluttery heartbeat, frequent urination, gas, general feeling of illness, hair loss, hallucinations, hepatitis, high blood pressure, hives, irritable colon, itching, joint and leg pain, loss of appetite, low blood sugar, muscle cramps and pain, nervousness, nose bleeds, pain in testes (!), rapid heartbeat, rash, ringing in ears, sleepiness, slow heartbeat, stomach tumors, upper respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, vertigo, weakness, weight gain and yellow eyes or skin.
The makers of these drugs recommend them for short term use, 2 to 8 weeks. How many people do you know, perhaps yourself, who are taking them forever? When I asked my doctor when I could stop taking the pills I was told matter-of-factly that I would have to take them for the rest of my life! Do you really believe that you can take any pill, forever, without any side effects?
The acid that is released in the stomach when we eat is the result of a chemical chain of events. The hormone gastrin stimulates histamine producing cells which tell acid producing cells to produce acid. Histamine H2 blockers do exactly what their name implies, they block the histamine from telling the acid producing cells to do their job. The result is another very effective acid blocking drug.
Here is a list of some possible side effects from these acid blocking pills; Headaches, abdominal discomfort and pain, agitation, anemia, changes in liver function (?), constipation, depression, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, hair loss, hallucinations, heart block, hepatitis, inflammation of pancreas, involuntary movements, irregular heartbeat, jaundice, joint pain, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, rapid heartbeat, rash, reduced white blood cells, reversible mental confusion (so don’t worry about it because you can reverse it I guess), severe allergic reactions, sleepiness, slow heartbeat, swollen face and throat and vertigo.
In all fairness to the makers of these acid reducing, acid blocking drugs, they do recommend them for short term use only. They also tell you to make lifestyle changes and changes to your diet. The truth is that the doctors and specialists just make it so easy to keep taking these acid blocking drugs.
Now they have taken it to the next level by making them available OTC. We don’t want to change our ways, just pop this magical purple pill and keep eating the same way you have been, it’s so easy. Who cares about side effects as long as I can eat what I want, right?
No one really knows what the long term effects on your health will be because these drugs are so new.
Pharmaceutical companies run clinical tests on new drugs and the FDA approves them. Usually only 6 months of taking the pills are studied. You decide if they really have your best interests in mind.
In addition to the potential side effects listed above, every few months new ones are being discovered. As I am writing this (Feb. 07'), just a few days ago a new report linking one of the most popular OTC acid blocking drugs to calcium defeciency was all over the news for one day.No one knows what the long-term effects are going to be !
You and only you are responsible for your health. Only you can know what is best for your body, only you can tell what works or doesn't work for you. Each of our bodies reacts differently to different problems and medications. The chemical makeup in our bodies is what causes these differences, acid blocking drugs have different results for different people.Do They Work?
Many people take these drugs and claim to have nothing but good results, at least initially. They claim they can eat anything they want as long as they take the pills.
Many others, myself included, have terrible results with them. I had severe chest pain and they made my digestion worse, but they did help my breathing and pressure problems I was experiencing.
Why do these drugs seem to work? They don’t correct the problem at all, they just treat the symptoms. This is, sadly, the state of modern western medical practices. If you read the info on how the digestive system functions then you can understand why they work. These pills neutralize or almost stop the production of acid by our stomachs. If the digestive juices aren't that acidic, they won’t damage the esophagus.
The makers of these acid blocking drugs can claim to actually heal the damage because without constantly being exposed to this acid your body will heal the damage. The problem is how do you stop taking them? It is actually scary to stop taking them if you've been on them for awhile.
Is This Smart?
For tens of thousands of years Man didn’t take these pills, they didn’t even exist until recently. Nature designed your body to have acid in your stomach to digest food and kill harmful germs entering your body. By virtually eliminating this acid with a manmade pill, can you really be doing something that is not going to have serious consequences if you keep doing this for a long time? Really think about this, please!
How are you going to stop taking them? Will you just magically not need them one day and be back to normal?
If you've been taking these acid blocking drugs for a while or just started taking them and are doing your research, side effects are something you must be concerned about.
Are you willing to help yourself? If so click HERE.
These acid blocking drugs and antacids share some of the same side effects, to learn more follow the link to the antacid page.