When will we learn?
We doctors are sometimes our own worst enemies. We repeat the same errors over and over again because we know we can’t possibly make the mistakes our less informed predecessors made.
The latest debacle: Proton Pump Inhibitors.
I’m dating myself, but I vividly recall the “good old days” when all we had was Tagamet and Zantac.
When Losec (Omeprazole) hit the scene, we were afraid of it.
It seemed “too strong!” It almost abolished acid secretion. ABOLISHED!
Wow! Is that a good idea? Won’t that cause trouble down the road?
Common sense screamed: “It may be reasonable for a month or two, but this is a BAD IDEA!”
For a couple of years, most of us even followed protocols: Omeprazole for no more than a month and then switch back to Ranitidine.
But the forces of drug marketing combined with reports of amazing symptom relief from GERD made us forget our concerns.
Soon, PPI’s became as safe in our heads as Vitamins, Fiber, and other good things.
Even frustrating insurance prior authorization demands do not deter us from keeping people on PPI’s for THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!!!
So, is it a good idea to totally eliminate gastric acid forever?
Go ahead: Search the literature on PPI’s.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
We don’t learn.
Yes, I know… Association does not equal cause and effect… BUT, COME ON PEOPLE!!!
USE YOUR BRAINS!!! (Speaking to the ones not on PPI’s, of course….)
What’s the next debacle?