March 29, 2018
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are overprescribed to patients with cirrhosis and actually increase their risk of bacterial infections, according to a study recently published in The Archives of Gastroenterology (doi: 10.1590/S0004-2803.201800000-09).
Researchers conducted the observational retrospective study to gauge the impact of PPIs on patients with cirrhosis, who are frequently prescribed the acid-blocking heartburn medications. Among 113 patients, medical records showed 39% used PPIs chronically—yet 63.6% of patients with chronic PPI use had no clear indication to justify a PPI prescription, researchers found.
During a 3-year follow-up period, 21.1% developed bacterial infections. Chronic use of PPIs was linked with infection development, adjusted multivariate analysis showed.
“There is an over-prescription of PPIs without a justified clinical indication,” the researchers concluded. “The long-term consumption of PPIs in patients with cirrhosis is associated with the development of bacterial infections; therefore, these drugs must be carefully prescribed in this specific population.”
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