Proton pump inhibitors and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis B or C—W. Kao, et. al
An Important warning: PPIs may lower the effectiveness direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs. If during HCV treatment, you need to take a PPI or other acid-reducing medication, talk to your medical provider about the timing, dosage, and whether you should take it with or without food.
Study Aims and Results: The aim of the study was to find out if long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) increased the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC-liver cancer). PPIs are drugs used to treat heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Common brand names of PPIs include Prilosec, Prevacid, and Nexium.
The analysis identified 35,356 hepatitis B (HBV) and HCV patients in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database between 2003 and 2013. There were 7,492 HBV and HCV patients included in this retrospective analysis. The characteristics (age, gender, disease state and participant medications) of the patients were evenly matched. The mean follow-up period was 53 months. Overall, 237 developed liver cancer in the HBV group; 211 patients in the HCV group developed liver cancer. However, in their analysis, the authors found no evidence that PPIs caused liver cancer in patients with chronic hepatitis B or C.
Conclusions: In this large retrospective study, the authors found no association between PPIs and the development of liver cancer.
Editorial Comments: There has been a lot of news about the dangers of PPIs concerning HCV DAA treatment. This study should be reassuring to people with HCV whether cured or not. More studies are needed to confirm these results. There are other warnings about the use of PPIs for the increased risk of kidney disease, heart attacks and cancers. Here is a link to a recent study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29897132
For some people, the use of PPIs may be unnecessary, but for others, they are an important medical therapy. Check with your medical provider to find out what the right dosage is to treat your medical condition. Read the product package label to learn about the right dose to use, side effects and the medical warnings of PPIs or visit www.fda.gov for more information.
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