1. When two-for-one is a bad deal

    Aspirin-Prilosec duo brings double the risk

    Pills and more pills. First you've got the pills you're supposed to take, and then you've got the pills you've got to take to deal with the side effects from the first ones.

    It would be comical if it weren't so deadly.

    Now, one company is trying to solve the problem -- not by cutting down on meds or making them safer, but by putting both a drug and the drug for its side effects together in one mega-pill.

    How's that for missing the point?

    The first drug is the aspirin millions of heart patients are told to take every day despite all the clear risks. These drugs have a long list of side effects, one of which is that daily use can leave your stomach in shreds.

    If that's not enough, aspirin can cause heartburn -- so the second drug in the new pill is Prilosec, a proton pump inhibitor that's even more dangerous than aspirin.

    As I've been warning you, PPIs can actually make stomach acid problems worse in the long run. It's a problem so common it has its own name: "acid rebound."

    PPIs can also mess with your stomach acid levels so badly that some studies have found a link to the serious infection Clostridium difficile, and they're known to block the absorption of critical nutrients, including calcium and magnesium.

    There's even evidence PPIs block aspirin, which could be why the new pill isn't the standard 81mg "baby" aspirin given to heart patients. It's a whopping 325mg instead.

    So maybe you'll avoid the heartburn -- for now -- but at that dose, you'll have a much better chance of battling the many other side effects of aspirin, such as gastrointestinal bleeding and tinnitus.

    What's crazy about all this is I'm sure the drug will be a big seller despite the fact that there's a much easier way to avoid heartburn and all the other risks of aspirin: Don't take the darned aspirin in the first place!

    Ordinary cod liver oil can thin the blood every bit as effectively with none of the risks -- and you won't need a second pill to counteract it.

  2. PPIs in new fracture link

    If a permanent case of the runs isn't enough to keep you away from proton pump inhibitors, maybe this will do the trick: These drugs can also leave you crippled for the rest of your life.

    I've told you before how PPIs can block the absorption of both calcium and magnesium, leaving you high and dry when it comes to the two nutrients your bones need most.

    Now, a new study shows what actually happens to those bones (in case it's not already obvious). A rock-solid new study out of Harvard that used data on some 80,000 nurses tracked since 1982 found that these meds can boost the risk of hip fractures by more than a third.

    Think that's bad? The increase in risk shoots up to 50 percent in women who take these drugs for at least six years.

    Now, if you've never taken a PPI you probably think it's nuts to take them for six years. And you're right -- it's nuts to take them for even six minutes.

    But these meds are like crack for heartburn patients.

    The more you take them, the more you need them -- because every time you try to stop, the stomach acid comes back with a vengeance.

    It's called acid rebound, and it's not a return of the original problem. It's a worsening of it that's CAUSED by the drugs, leading to a vicious cycle of meds that can go on for years or even decades.

    The best way to avoid all that is to not get started on these drugs in the first place.

    I've found the simplest way to get relief from stomach acid problems is with eight ounces of freshly squeezed cabbage juice, taken as often as necessary.

    If that doesn't work, you'll need to make some bigger changes. I have everything you need to know about out-of-control stomach acid problems -- and how to stop them cold -- in the August 2009 issue of the Douglass Report.

    Not a subscriber? I've got the cure for that right here.

  3. The common med that's destroying you from the inside

    The proton pump inhibitors taken by millions to lower stomach acid levels work so well they actually create the perfect breeding grounds for a bacteria called Clostridium difficile.
  4. Babies being pumped full of PPIs

    It's bad enough that docs are pushing dangerous and unnecessary stomach acid meds on adults -- but now, a growing number of pediatricians are throwing those same meds at infants who spit up or puke.
  5. Are you addicted to heartburn meds?

    There's a new call for the feds to put more warnings onto common heartburn drugs. Big whooptie-do. Any warning slapped onto these meds now is way too little and far too late. Millions are already hooked on proton pump inhibitors...

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