FDA Says Ulcer Drugs May Increase Diarrhea Risk

(February 8, 2012)  It has been reported that health regulators said that ulcer drugs, such as AstraZeneca’s blockbuster Nexium, as well as many other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), could increase the risk of clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD), sometimes referred to as C-diff.


Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can cause colitis, as well as other intestinal conditions. The U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) stated that patients who develop diarrhea after taking these drugs should be checked for CDAD.


The PPI drugs are widely used for treating ulcers, gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD) and other conditions.


There are several other PPIs sold by prescription.  They include Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd’s Dexilant and Prevacid, AstraZeneca’s Prilosec and Vimovo, Santarus Inc.’s Zegerid, and Johnson & Johnson and Eisai Co. Ltd’s AcipHex.


Generic versions of Prevacid and Prilosec are also available.


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