Drugs that don't mix.
Nathan Seppa's article on the untoward effects of proton pump inhibitors on the blood thinner clopidogrel ("Popular acid blockers don't mix with anticlotting medication," SN: 3/28/09, p. 11) raises the question: Does the study suggest anything about the effect of PPIs on a daily dose of aspirin (81 milligrams)--also a blood thinner?
Tom Yount, Nashville, Tenn.
The authors of this study didn't investigate the effect of heartburn drugs (PPIs such as Prilosec or Nexium) on aspirin's anticlotting action. Various small studies have failed to show a clear diminution of aspirin's anticlotting effect from the use of a PPI, though the results are somewhat mixed and that work is ongoing. On the other hand, most studies testing the effect of PPIs in people taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs have shown that PPIs can prevent or ameliorate the gastric bleeding and ulcers that are common side effects of aspirin.--Nathan Seppa