Hyderabad: Tablets to cure acid reflux can cause an eight-fold increase in the risk of stomach cancer, says a study conducted by Hong Kong University.
The study claims that people who take tablets for acid reflux — which is a digestive condition that irritates the stomach — are twice as likely to develop cancer.
The most common tablets used for acid reflux are called proton pump inhibitors.
Oncologist Dr Narendra Kumar Thota said, “When you take acid reflux pills over a prolonged period, it suppresses the acid produced in the stomach which is important for absorbing nutrients. The more one consumes the tablets, the more it increases gastric problems, thereby leading to gastric cancer.”
Oncologists say that the main problem in India is the easy availability of medicines over the counter without prescription. People tend to continue using the medicine long after after the doctor’s prescription period is over.
Gastroenterologist Dr Naveen Polavarapu said, “This is just an observational study and not meant to alarm patients who take tablets for acid reflux. Continued use of the same without a prescription is harmful because the long term effects of any pill can be different from benefits.”
Gastroenterologists claim that the unhealthy lifestyle of youngsters these days cause acid reflux which leads to more patients taking these tablets.