Saturday, December 05, 2009

Use of stomach drugs by seniors soars

From the Globe and Mail:
The number of seniors taking acid-reducing drugs to treat gastrointestinal woes has soared by 60 per cent over the past five years, newly released data show.

More than one in five Canadians over the age of 65 were treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in 2007-08, up from one in eight in 2001-02, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

“Usage seems to be steadily increasing,” said Michael Gaucher, manager of pharmaceuticals at CIHI.

Part of the increase seems to be a switch from an earlier class of medication known as histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs), but there also seems to be an increase in acid-related conditions, he said.

PPIs and H2RAs are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), reflux esophagitis and peptic ulcer disease. They are also used to eradicate Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that causes ulcers, and to prevent and treat ulcers caused by routine use of medications such as painkillers. ...more

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