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Heartburn

  • Posted on Sep 14, 2016

hearburnWhat’s up with the tummy? Heartburn and reflux are common ailments in all age groups. Generally, symptoms range from an awful tasting burp to an intense burning pain. Pregnant moms can attest that this is no fun. Treatments range from Tums to PPIs (protein pump inhibitors with brand names of Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec to name a few). PPIs are generally well tolerated and have demonstrated an excellent overall safety profile. However, we are currently seeing wider use with more long term use. PPIs made headlines a few months ago with a study suggesting increased risk of Alzheimer’s in older folks.

And recently, I have just read a summary article from the AAP regarding the use of PPIs in pregnant women and an increased chance of the infant developing childhood asthma. This doesn’t mean if a mom takes a PPI during pregnancy her child will develop asthma. It just means there is an increased risk. And don’t forget that the hereditary potential of asthma is a factor as well.

In adults, there is some low side effects that are well documented, such as Vit B12 deficiency, iron deficiency, low magnesium, risk of fractures and infections. We do not know if this holds true for children yet.

I think the bottom line is with all medications. Use only if necessary and short term. Remember there are children who absolutely need these medications on a routine basis.

For the rest of us, let’s keep it short and sweet!

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