Stomach Acid Drugs May Heighten Risk of Death from Infections

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Credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki | Dreamstime

Stomach Acid Drugs May Heighten Risk of Death from Infections

Stomach acid mightِ causeِ a lot ofِ people a lot ofِ pain, butِ it alsoِ serves anِ important purpose inِ the body: itِ stops incipient infections inِ their tracks.
Now, a newِ study saysِ that medications thatِ suppress theِ production ofِ stomach acid canِ make people moreِ susceptible toِ complications ofِ gastrointestinal infections, including raising theِ risk ofِ dying.
The study examined hospital patients infected withِ theِ drug-resistant bacteria Clostridium difficile, whichِ isِ infamous forِ causing diarrhea inِ hospitalized patients andِ responsible forِ more deaths inِ the United States thanِ allِ other intestinal infections combined.

The report was published Oct. 5 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Following a Paper Trail

The study included 485 patients withِ C.
difficile infections atِ the Naval Medical Center San Diego betweenِ 2004 andِ 2008.
Nearly halfِ of theِ patients hadِ previously beenِ prescribed anِ acid suppressant, mostِ were eitherِ proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), suchِ asِ Prilosec andِ Prevacid, orِ histamine-2 antagonists, suchِ asِ Tagamet andِ Zantac.

Deactivating the gastric acid trap

It kills them, Lederman said.
Although theِ newِ study doesِ not provide enoughِ data toِ sayِ that people shouldِ forgo useِ ofِ acid suppression, sheِ said, clinicians andِ patients needِ to beِ aware ofِ the potential consequences.
difficile inِ their feces, inِ the form ofِ endospores, whichِ can’tِ reproduce, butِ areِ very hardy.