A blog is not a doctor...

Nothing on this page is meant to substitute for getting the advice of a doctor who knows you and is familiar with your medical history. If you reside in California and wish to be a patient in my advice practice, please go to http://www.myadvicedr.com and click for your free initial consultation.

Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Risks of Antacid Drugs such as Zantac and Prilosec

Some of you have asked about The New York Times article today highlighting that today many elderly people continue to take drugs that reduce stomach acid, like Zantac (an antihistamine) and Prilosec (a proton pump inhibitor), for years and years and that this may not be a good idea. Often people are first prescribed these drugs for questionable or no specific reasons (for example, see study here this study. These drugs have side effects including increased infections (both pneumonia and gastrointestinal infections) and osteoporosis (because of reduced calcium absorption).

Bottom line: If you are not taking antacid drugs for known ulcers or bad symptoms of acid reflux (which can cause pneumonia as well if really bad!), then stop them. If you are taking them for a real indication such as ulcer disease or bad acid reflux disease, then work with your doctor to see if you still need them.
These drugs have risks and the risks must be weighed against the benefits for you.

No comments: