Acid Reflux Drugs and Vitamin Deficiency

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Story Updated: Dec 12, 2013

Stomach acid suppressing medications are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. But research shows taking them for an extended period of time may put you at risk for a vitamin B12 deficiency, which left untreated can lead to anemia and other health complications, even neurologic damage and dementia. Researchers at used electronic medical records from more than 200-thousand of their patients.

Those who were dispensed a two or more year supply of proton pump inhibitors had a 65-percent increased risk of B12 deficiency. Those taking a pill and a half a day were especially at risk. Risk was up 25-percent for those dispensed a two or more year supply of histamine 2 receptor antagonists.

The researchers urge those who need to take these drugs to continue to do so...but encourage doctors to prescribe the lowest possible dose and be aware of this potential B12 issue.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the latest breakthroughs from the world of medicine.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.