A new study may send a shock to millions of at-risk Americans. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology early this week, claims that taking heartburn medication featuring “Proton Pump Inhibitors” (PPI) could increase your chances of contracting the cause of the current pandemic, COVID-19. In fact, it claimed the medication could make you between 2 – 4 times as likely to test positive for the potentially deadly virus (compared to non-users).
The study, which was led by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Dr. Brennan Spiegel, surveyed over 86,000 individuals through online communications. Among them, more than 53,000 people reported taking medication for pain or discomfort associated with gastrointestinal regions of their bodies. Ultimately, over 3,300 of them tested positive for COVID-19.
Although there is an array of medications to deal with gastrointestinal issues, proton pump inhibitors are extremely popular, and accessible. Offered both through prescriptions and over-the-counter, popular medicines featuring PPI’s include, but are not limited to: Prilosec, Prilosec OTC, Zegerid, Prevacid, Protonix, Aciphex, Nexium, and Dexilant. These medications act by turning off pumps in cells that release acid into your stomach, and can be taken once or twice daily. The study also determined the more frequently an individual was to take PPI medication, the more likely they would be to contract COVID-19.