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Stomach acid drugs may cause bacterial infections

Category: Hormones and Metabolism

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), stomach acid drugs such as Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and Zegerid, which are classified as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), may increase the risk of developing Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea (CDAD), which can be detected with a lab test.

According to MyHealthNewsDaily, PPIs are are usually used to treat acid reflux and stomach ulcers due to their ability to reduce stomach acids. Edith R. Lederman, M.D., who published a study on the link between PPIs and CDAD, told the news source that stomach acids are essential because they help combat harmful pathogens.

The news source reported that Lederman's study, which was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, found that nearly 50 percent of patients who were hospitalized due to CDAD, had been prescribed a stomach acid medication.

The FDA reported that if you use PPIs and develop diarrhea that doesn't get better with time or have abdominal pain or fever, then you should seek medical attention.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that C. diff is present in the feces, and any surface that comes into contact with the bacteria can be contaminated, such as toilets, bathtubs and rectal thermometers. The majority of time patients contract C. diff from the hands of a healthcare provider who has touched a contaminated object.

Older adults who take antibiotics and frequently receive medical care have the greatest risk of getting C. diff, according to the CDC. This is partly due to the fact that antibiotics usually destroy the germs that help defend the body against infections. The source also reports that 75 percent of C diff symptoms first become apparent in nursing home patients or people who have recently received treatment at a doctor's office or clinic.

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