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November 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 9)

Indigestion remedies increase risk of recurring stomach bug infection
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Indigestion remedies increase risk of recurring stomach bug infection image

Over-the-counter remedies for indigestion and stomach acid increase the risk of recurring Clostridium difficile infection, which can cause a range of gut problems from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon.

The remedies "significantly" increase the risk of C. difficile in people who have previously had an infection, say researchers from the Mayo Clinic.

Indigestion and gastric acid remedies such as omeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor, and ranitidine, a histamine 2 blocker, increase the risk of a repeat infection. Many stomach remedies are available over-the-counter and without a prescription, and are used to treat indigestion, stomach acid, dyspepsia and peptic ulcers.

The researchers discovered the risk when they took another look at 16 previously-published medical studies that involved 7,703 patients with C.difficile. Of those, 1,525 became infected for a second and subsequent times, and the researchers worked out that taking the remedies increased the risk of recurring infection by 22 per cent.

People who've had the infection may need to look to alternatives for their stomach problems, the researchers say.


References

(Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, 2017; doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0212)

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