January 8, 2007
Risks and Benefits
The Baltimore Sun today has a good article addressing the risks and benefits of heartburn medications, but it's really a broader piece than that, discussing the balancing of drugs' risks and benefits more generally.
[Patient] Kilner has already made up her mind. "I'm going to continue taking my Nexium because it works for me," said the 72- year-old Timonium resident. "The quality of life has improved for me by taking it."
[Doctor, not Judge] Posner said the benefits of these drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, outweigh the risks. While the study results announced Dec. 27 suggested that older people who take the drugs might want to take extra precautions to prevent bone loss, the link between hip fractures and the drugs is inconclusive, he said.
"There is no drug which is free of side effects," he said. "The over-the-counter drugs work fairly well but not nearly as well as this class."
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