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Heartburn Drugs Ups C. Diff Risk by Two-Thirds

Filed July 12th, 2012 Laurie

According to a new analysis, proton pump inhibitors (PPI) raise the risk of C. difficile-related diarrhea by two-thirds and great care should be given when prescribing them to prevent gastric ulcers.

The U.K.’s MHRA has issued several warnings over the use of PPIs and their association with the development of fractures and hypomagnesaemia. Here in the U.S., drug regulators instruction patients to seek immediate emergency care they took PPIs and developed diarrhea that did not improve.

This latest analysis gathered information from 23 studies using data from 289,000 hospitals. It was concluded that patients on PPIs had a 69 percent increased risk of contracting C. difficile-associated diarrhea compared with matched controls, or for cohort studies, when adjusted for confounding factors, such as antibiotic use.

Researchers from Harper University Hospital in Michigan, and the University of Utah School of Medicine said they believe the analysis shows a new guideline for PPI use is necessary. Researchers in the U.K., however, disagree with that assessment.
U.K. physician, Dr. Michael Cohen, said, “To be honest I think GPs are ‘guidelined out’ and I am not sure another would be of any benefit here.”

He also said it would have been helpful if the studies had included the dose and duration of the therapies used.

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