Heartburn and acid reflux are painful yet easily treated conditions. From TUMS to OTC ranitidine, finding a solution for your acid reflux symptoms is as simple as making a trip to your local pharmacy, grocery or big box store, and even the nearby gas station. But new studies by researchers in Austria indicate some of the medicines could be solving one problem while exacerbating another. Their research indicates a link between the use of anti-acid medication and increased use of allergy control medicines.
To conduct the study, senior study author Dr. Erika Jensen-Jarolim and her colleagues used prescription data from 97% of people living in Austria. The data information covered a span of four years, from 2009 to 2013. A few highlights from the study include:
- As little as six daily doses of anti-acid medication were linked to an increased use of allergy medicine.
- Women and the elderly are more likely to have an increased need for allergy medicines than others.
- The researchers believe the link between anti-acids and allergies is the breakdown of food-derived proteins that cause allergies. Acid-reducing drugs don’t allow these proteins to break down into small enough pieces, which sends the proteins into the large intestine. This results in an allergic reaction and inflammation.
- All types of acid-reducing medications were linked to increased use of allergy medicine, but one particular drug had a higher prevalence–sucralfate, better known by its brand name Carafate.
Although this new information is compelling and researchers believe they know the link between antacids and allergies, it’s important to know that this study was observational and cause and effect have not been thoroughly established. It’s also important to note that the pros of taking acid reducers still far outweigh the cons. Untreated acid reflux can lead to a number of other problems, including Barrett’s esophagus which can lead to cancer. If you think you’ve noticed an increase in allergies since taking antacids regularly, try cutting back your dose and only take them as needed.
To learn more about this study, click here. To learn how you can better balance your heartburn treatment and how to properly cut back on your dosage, schedule an appointment with EliteCare today.