GERD Medications Linked to Vitamin Deficiency
According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, medications used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can increase one’s risk of developing a B12 deficiency. The medications used in the study were proton pump inhibitors and histamine 2 receptor antagonists.
According to the study, patients who were prescribed and took more than 1.5 pills per day of proton pump inhibitors over 2 years were more likely to present with a vitamin B12 deficiency than those who took fewer than 0.75 pills per day. Similar results were seen in patients taking histamine antagonists.
The study involved close to 26,000 participants previously diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency and over 180,000 patients without vitamin B12 deficiency. It was found that most of the vitamin deficient patients were female, above 60 years of age, and Caucasian.
Among the patients found with vitamin B12 deficiency, about 16% were found to be using either proton pump inhibitors or histamine 2 receptor antagonists.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with anemia and decreased cognitive function. Long term proton pump inhibitor use has also been associated with an increased risk of osteoporotic fractures.
Researchers concluded that GERD medication use was significantly associated with the presence of vitamin B12 deficiency and that the risk and benefits of using these medications should be considered before prescribing them in the future.