Drugs known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs, including Prilosec™, Nexium™, and Prevacid™) are “acid blockers” used to treat chronic acid reflux and heartburn. PPIs work by blocking the stomach’s production of hydrochloric acid—but because this acid also helps the body to absorb calcium which is essential for bone health, over time, the drugs’ action could accelerate bone loss. Three large studies have implicated the use of PPIs as a riskfactor for hip fractures. A study of more than 60,000 Canadians aged 50 and older found that people who took PPIs for 5 years or more were one-and-one-half times more likely to have hip fractures, and those who took the drugs for 7 years were four-and-a-half times more likely to break a hip. Additionally, PPI use is associated with several potential adverse effects, including enteric infections (e.g., Clostridium difficile) and community-acquired pneumonia, and inproper absorption of nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin B-12, which can in turn lead to elevated homocysteine levels. In general, patients with mild heartburn may experience equal relief from less aggressive therapy.