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Epidemiology. 2013 Jul;24(4):600-7. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e318294bec6.

Risk factors for falls with use of acid-suppressive drugs.

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Spanish Centre for Pharmacoepidemiologic Research, CEIFE, Madrid, Spain.



Some recent reports suggest an increased risk of fractures with use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine type 2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs), although results are inconsistent and a causal relationship has yet to be proven. As these acid-suppressive drugs may have uncommon adverse effects on the central nervous system (CNS), such as dizziness, we investigated whether their use is associated with falls as a possible mechanism for increasing fracture risk.


A cohort study with nested case-control analysis and two validation strategies was performed using data from UK patients (aged 40-89 years) included in The Health Improvement Network database (2000-2008). Due to the large number of falls, a random sample of 20,000 cases was used for the analysis.


The overall incidence of falls per 1000 person-years was 13.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 12.9-13.1). After adjustment for potential confounders, there was no relationship between falls and current use of single PPIs (odds ratio [OR] = 0.95; 95% CI = 0.89-1.02) or H2RAs (OR = 1.01; 95% CI = 0.90-1.14); there was no relationship with dose or duration of treatment. Falls were associated with CNS disorders and treatment with various pharmacological agents including antiparkinson drugs (OR = 2.7; 95% CI = 2.2-3.3) and antiepileptics (OR = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.8-2.3).


There was no association between falls and use of PPIs or H2RAs. Any potential increase in the risk of fractures proposed to be associated with the use of acid-suppressive drugs is not via an increased risk of falls.

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