toilet paper, diarrhea medicine, FIT

Acid-suppressing drugs have become the go-to drugs for digestive distress. Medications such as Prilosec and Prevacid were once only available by prescription. Now these brands and their generic equivalents omeprazole and lansoprazole are easily accessible over the counter and doctors still prescribe large quantities of Nexium and Protonix.

Such proton pump inhibitors may have some unexpected consequences that are just now being recognized. A meta-analysis in the American Journal of Gastroenterology shows an association between the use of acid-suppressing drugs and a 65 percent increased risk of C. difficile-associated diarrhea. The 23 studies in the analysis included nearly 300,000 subjects. C diff infections can be life threatening and are often hard to treat.

[American Journal of Gastroenterology, online June 19, 2012]

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  1. JimO
    Reply

    I was prescribed Protonix for continuing GERD after an ulcer cause by Aleve. Was well tolerated with slight dizziness, ringing in the ears and flatulence. When the generic came out my insurance company required me to switch. The generic cause me to have uncontrollable diarrhea.
    Now taking Protonix that I pay full price (5 dollars a pill) causes fluid buildup in my throat and lungs, causing a constant cough and trouble breathing.
    I am presently trying out Prilosec or Prevacid.

  2. marysc
    Reply

    I took Nexium for over a year on my doctor’s recommendation for daily problems with indigestion. It helped the symptoms, but I always worried about possible long term side effects from stopping natural stomach secretions. One day my niece (a nurse) told me she was gluten intolerant and she suggested I might be too, “because there’s a genetic component.” I stopped eating wheat products for a few days and my indigestion vanished. I happily stopped the Nexium and haven’t taken it since. Not eating wheat is a small price to pay for a healthy digestive system! Why can’t doctors suggest trying simple common-sense things like that before prescribing high-priced medication with horrific side effects??? Aren’t they taught anything in med school but how to write prescriptions?

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