Take the "Purple Pill" - and Break a Hip

Published: October 11, 2012

Researchers studied nearly 80,000 postmenopausal women who took proton pump inhibitors ("PPI") for two years or more (PPI's are acid-blocking drugs for heartburn, like the "Purple Pill™" Nexium, Prilosec, or Prevacid). They found the women taking PPI were 36% more likely to suffer a hip fracture, compared to women who never took it. This means it was as likely to cause a hip fracture as prevent one! And the longer they took the drug, the worse it was for their bones.

After two years the risk for a hip fracture was 36% higher. After four years, 42%. After six to eight years, 55%.

The bad news is that from 2000 to 2008, use of PPIs has nearly tripled — putting more women at risk.

The good news: you don't need to take a PPI to control heartburn. For natural ways to deal with the problem, see "Eliminating Chronic Acid Reflux and Indigestion."


"Khalili H, et al. Use of proton pump inhibitors and risk of hip fracture in relation to dietary and lifestyle factors: a prospective cohort study." BMJ. 2012 Jan 30;344:e372. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e372.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. His newest book (June 10, 2024) is You Can Heal From Long COVID. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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