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Popular acid blockers, anticlotting drug don’t mix

Giving heart patients drugs to stop reflux might lessen the protective effect of a blood thinner

In a finding sure to cause many cardiac patients some old-fashioned heartburn, researchers report that a commonly prescribed class of acid-blocking drugs interferes with an anticlotting medication routinely given to heart patients discharged from the hospital. The study, coupled with two earlier reports that have recently led to a stern warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about mixing the drugs, might change doctors’ practices.

“A lot of us just prescribe things out of habit,” says study coauthor P. Michael Ho, a cardiologist at the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. ”My hope is that this study makes physicians think twice.”

The new report, in the March 4 Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) neutralize more than stomach acid.

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