Can proton-pump inhibitors increase bone fracture risk?

David Slovik, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
The long-term use of proton-pump inhibitors -- a common treatment for ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease -- came under scrutiny after a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that these drugs, including the popular over-the-counter drug omeprazole (Prilosec), may put patients at greater risk of hip fracture, particularly if they are taken at high doses over an extended period. Two additional studies and a 2009 review published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology generally supported this finding, but the article concluded that any increase in fracture risk resulting from taking proton-pump inhibitors would be slight. Therefore, the authors did not recommend any changes in the prescribing guidelines for the medications.

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