November 23, 2017 – Long-Term Antacid Use Linked to Increased Stomach Cancer Risk

Scientists have found a higher incidence of gastric cancer in patients treated for H. pylori, a bacterium found in the stomach, if they took proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) over extended periods of time. The prolonged use of these antacids may worsen gastric atrophy and promote bacterial overgrowth. The results of the study conducted at the University of Hong Kong showed that the long-term use of PPIs doubled the risk of gastric cancer – even after eradication of H. pylori, whereas the use of a H2-receptor antagonist – a less potent acid suppressant drug – did not have any stomach cancer risk. Since this research is an observational study, no firm conclusions can be drawn considering PPIs are generally considered safe. It is important to use PPIs at their minimum effective dose, frequency and duration in order to prevent any complications.
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