The skeptical cardiologist not uncommonly recommends OTC Prilosec (omeprazole), a proton pump inhibitor for cardiac patients with chest pain that is from acid reflux (GERD).
Lately, however, some studies have raised concerns about the long term side effects of taking PPIs.
I came across a very cool cartoon which reviews one patient’s history with respect to PPIs in today’s Annals of Internal Medicine.
I’ve been meaning to delve more deeply into the literature on PPI side effects but until then I think this cartoon does a great job of summarizing what patient’s should be considering.
You can view the entire cartoon for free on the Annals website here
Here is the first panel which describes a patient who has been taking the PPI pantoprazole for decades:
It’s ironic that at one point in this patient’s treatment he is put on Zantac (ranitidine). In recent weeks the FDA has issued warnings about a possible carcinogen in generic ranitidine and CVS and Walgreens have pulled it from their shelves.