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.