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Acid-Suppresssing Drugs May Increase Risk for Clostridium

Proton pump inhibitors linked to nearly threefold higher risk of C. difficile infection

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Use of gastric-acid suppressing agents, and possibly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), is associated with an increased risk of community-acquired Clostridium difficile infection, according to a study in the Dec. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Sandra Dial, M.D., M.Sc., of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and colleagues examined data from the United Kingdom General Practice Research Database to determine if the use of gastric acid-suppressive agents, including proton pump inhibitors and H2-receptor agonists, increased the risk of C. difficile-associated disease (CDAD).

The authors found 1,672 cases of CDAD between 1994 and 2004, and the incidence of infection increased from less than one case per 100,000 in 1994 to 22 cases per 100,000 in 2004. Use of proton pump inhibitors was associated with a nearly threefold risk of CDAD, H2-receptor antagonists increased the risk by twofold and NSAIDs led to a 1.3-fold risk.

"Acid-suppressive agents are among the most frequently prescribed medications in the United Kingdom and North America, and it is in this context that the contribution of these agents by potentially increasing the pool of susceptible hosts to the increasing rates of CDAD needs to be considered," the authors conclude.

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