Facebook Pixel

Link Between Heartburn Drugs and C. Difficile

Rate This
link found between C. difficile infections and heartburn drugs iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Science editor Kristine Novak cites a June 2012 article in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology in saying that, even when getting negative test results for GERD, more than 42 percent of patients keep using PPIs, according to a study of 90 patients.

Those conducting the study suggested that patients who still feel acid reflux symptoms even when pH monitoring and other tests show no GERD might be better classified as having functional heartburn.

There is a difference between GERD and heartburn. A diagnosis of GERD often comes about when repeated heartburn interferes with daily life.

Of course, proton pump inhibitors have long been successfully prescribed for severe to moderate GERD, and PPIs for heartburn are widely available over the counter.

But the possible side effects of PPIs and the pros and cons of long-term use would be a good conversation to have with your healthcare practitioner.


"Risk of Clostridium difficile Infection With Acid Suppressing Drugs and Antibiotics: Meta-Analysis." American Journal of Gastroenterology. Web. 30 May 2012.

"FDA Drug Safety Communication: Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea can be associated with stomach acid drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)." U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration. Web. 30 May 2012.

Novak, Kristine. "Many Patients Without GERD Continue to Take PPIs." The AGA Journals Blog. Web. 30 May 2012.

Reviewed May 31, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Infections of the Digestive Tract

Get Email Updates

Infections of the Digestive Tract Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!