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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What are the side effects of antacids long term?

Dear Dr. Sir,

I am suffering from acidity problem like heart burn since long around 15 years. and I am taking antiacid like omeprozol / rebeprozol/ lensoprozol etc.etc. tablets since 1994. Kindly tell me wheter any side effects of such type of medicine ?
thanking you,
yours sincerely
(M.L. Dobhal)
Fri, 27 Jun 2014
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello
Most antacids include a disclaimer on their packaging that consumers should not use them for longer than 14 days.
There is a good reason for this.
When stomach acid is removed either by neutralizing it or by blocking it's production, the body experiences a gradual health decline due to mal-absorption of nutrients. For instance, low stomach acid impairs the body's ability to absorb calcium . Mal-absorption of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) has also been linked to impaired nerve and brain function. Other nutrients that are mal-absorbed due to low stomach acid levels include: iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, folic acid, vitamins A, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B6), riboflavin (B6), and E.
Long-term use often leads the body to compensate by producing more of the hormone "gastrin". This hormone signals the stomach to increase acid production acid. Excessive levels of gastrin have been linked to the growth of esophageal, pancreatic, and gastric cancer cells.
Most dangerous of all is the weakening of the natural anti-microbial action of stomach acid
Another risk is that antacid drugs can facilitate a common food borne illness including salmonella infection
Hope this helps
Take Care.
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What are the side effects of antacids long term?

Hello Most antacids include a disclaimer on their packaging that consumers should not use them for longer than 14 days. There is a good reason for this. When stomach acid is removed either by neutralizing it or by blocking it s production, the body experiences a gradual health decline due to mal-absorption of nutrients. For instance, low stomach acid impairs the body s ability to absorb calcium . Mal-absorption of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) has also been linked to impaired nerve and brain function. Other nutrients that are mal-absorbed due to low stomach acid levels include: iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, folic acid, vitamins A, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B6), riboflavin (B6), and E. Long-term use often leads the body to compensate by producing more of the hormone gastrin . This hormone signals the stomach to increase acid production acid. Excessive levels of gastrin have been linked to the growth of esophageal, pancreatic, and gastric cancer cells. Most dangerous of all is the weakening of the natural anti-microbial action of stomach acid Another risk is that antacid drugs can facilitate a common food borne illness including salmonella infection Hope this helps Take Care.