Drug Warning for Heartburn and Acid Reflux Medications

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If you are taking drugs for heartburn and acid reflux, you may be interested in this. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) ,12/05, published results of 2 studies in which these drugs increased incidence of diarrhea and colitis, caused by the bacteria, Clostridium difficile. Typically, infection with this bacteria is related to overuse of antibiotics and hospital acquired infections.

The increasing occurrence in the community between 1994 and 2004 was studied, and found to be caused by the use of gastric-acid suppressing drugs. The worst were the proton-pump inhibitors (Prevacid and Prilosec) and second were the H2 receptor agonists (Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet). These drugs decrease gastric acid levels, which control the growth of the bacteria.

Although these drugs can be helpful for short-term use, there are other options. Dietary and supplement interventions can be quite effective in eliminating heartburn and acid reflux, without the potential side effects of these drugs.