My Heartburn Journey

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heartburn photoI have blogged before about my heartburn woes. I have tried many solutions over the years. Tums has been my mainstay, but I have had prescriptions too.

This last week I read a blog about the move of the prescription heartburn and GERD medications to over the counter (OTC). I had not really thought about it –the “it” being the warnings given with a prescription drug not moving over to the same medicine OTC. Oh, yah. Hmmmmm. “Even with everything we know about them, OTC drugs seem somehow safer. They don’t have that ten-page insert full of cautions and side effects. And you don’t have to sign the pharmacy screen saying your pharmacist told you about all those warnings. But these drugs are far from safe. Especially if they once required a prescription.” I have not really thought about it.

We don’t think about all information about the side effects that use to accompany the prescription or the limit on how much you can take with the prescription with the expiration of the prescription. ( BUT that did not stop my doctor from just filling the prescription again. He did not seem to worry about the side effects, even knowing that I was beginning to have osteoporosis.) The drug companies lower the doses by telling user to take it for 14 days, only 3 times a year, but there is not prescription expiration to keep one from taking it more often AND the packaging can be for much more than 14 days. The price (just because they are OTC does not make them cheaper) also encourages one to buy the multiple dose 28, 42 etc. rather than the 14 day dose.

My experience was no relief in 14 days, so I just kept taking the medicine. I even got rewards for being a frequent buyer. Here are the side effects not listed on the OTC box or bottle: “Instead of deciding these Rx-to-OTC heartburn drugs could keep this warning off, the FDA should have made the pharmaceutical companies put it in big, bold letters. So here’s what you WON’T be reading on that Prilosec, Zegerid, Prevacid OTC package.

• Using these drugs can increase your risk of hip, wrist and spine fractures.

• The risk increases the longer you use them, with those taking them for one year or more at the greatest risk.

• Taking a higher dose, even for under a year, also increases the chance of a fracture.

• The danger also increases if you have other risk factors for broken bones and are over 50.

The FDA’s last comment about those warnings — the ones they originally said were so important — is that they didn’t need to be on the packaging because the drugs are only “intended” to be taken at the dose of one pill a day for 14 days. And that’s not to be repeated more than three times a year!

As we know, the drug companies are not about fixing the problem, but getting one dependent on their drugs and with it being OTC there is no doctor saying no.

Consider using the enzymes and acidophilus. It is working for me. I have been using heartburn medicines for many, many years. I really like that I am using natural remedies and not chemicals. HSI – Jenny Thompson [email protected] This is a subscription service of health alerts everyday. I do think it was worth the price.

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