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Heartburn medications taken by millions of people are under scrutiny following studies that reveal a risk for side effects, including kidney damage.
"The risk is pretty low, but it's not zero," says Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist Dr. Ken DeVault. "So it's worth talking to your physician."
The medications are called proton pump inhibitors, sold under brand names such as Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, and the generic forms, such as omeprazole, esomeprazole and lansoprazole.
Dr. DeVault says, despite the risks, proton pump inhibitors are the best option for some patients with heartburn. However, he thinks the medications are over used by many people who could find alternatives.
In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. DeVault asks two important questions about proton pump inhibitors and offers other ideas for beating heartburn. Jeff Olsen reports.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (0:59) is in the downloads. Read the script.