People who take popular heartburn pills known as
proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may be more likely to
develop intestinal infections than people who donít
take these medications, a Scottish study suggests..
The pills work by stopping cells in the stomach
lining from producing too much of the acid that can
cause ulcers and reflux symptoms such as heartburn.
Researchers examined data of 188,323 exposed to ASMs
(proton pump inhibitors PPIs, and H2 receptor
antagonists H2RA) and 376,646 who were not exposed
to ASMs between 1999 and 2013.
Compared to people who didnít use the drugs, those
who did were at higher risk for a severe form of
diarrhea caused by the Clostridium difficile
Their odds of this infection were 1.4 times higher
when they were hospitalized and 1.7 times higher
when they werenít in the hospital.
In addition, PPI users had a 4.5 times greater risk
of getting Campylobacter infections, a common form
of food poisoning, if they were hospitalized and a
3.7 times higher risk when they werenít
Researchers also tested for Salmonella, Shigella and
Escherichia coli, but didnít find an association
between PPIs and these infections.
ďReducing stomach acid, which acts as a barrier to
infection, increases the chance of getting a GI
infection,Ē said senior study author Dr. Thomas
MacDonald, a pharmacology researcher at the
University of Dundee in Scotland.
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For more information
Acid suppression medications and bacterial
gastroenteritis: a population-based cohort study