Acid-Suppressive Therapy and Risk of Infections: Pros and Cons

Published on Mar 30, 2017in Clinical Drug Investigation2.267
· DOI :10.1007/S40261-017-0519-Y
Leon Fisher4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Frankston Hospital),
Alexander Fisher12
Estimated H-index: 12
(Canberra Hospital),
Alexander Fisher12
Estimated H-index: 12
(ANU: Australian National University)
This narrative review summarises the benefits, risks and appropriate use of acid-suppressing drugs (ASDs), proton pump inhibitors and histamine-2 receptor antagonists, advocating a rationale balanced and individualised approach aimed to minimise any serious adverse consequences. It focuses on current controversies on the potential of ASDs to contribute to infections—bacterial, parasitic, fungal, protozoan and viral, particularly in the elderly, comprehensively and critically discusses the growing body of observational literature linking ASD use to a variety of enteric, respiratory, skin and systemic infectious diseases and complications (Clostridium difficile diarrhoea, pneumonia, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, septicaemia and other). The proposed pathogenic mechanisms of ASD-associated infections (related and unrelated to the inhibition of gastric acid secretion, alterations of the gut microbiome and immunity), and drug-drug interactions are also described. Both probiotics use and correcting vitamin D status may have a significant protective effect decreasing the incidence of ASD-associated infections, especially in the elderly. Despite the limitations of the existing data, the importance of individualised therapy and caution in long-term ASD use considering the balance of benefits and potential harms, factors that may predispose to and actions that may prevent/attenuate adverse effects is evident. A six-step practical algorithm for ASD therapy based on the best available evidence is presented.
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