According to a new study that was released on Tuesday, those patients of heartburn who take acid-suppressing drugs over a period of two years or longer are at a higher risk of suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency compared with those who do not use them.
The drugs that are used for heartburn are referred to as proton-pump inhibitors and histamine 2 receptor antagonists. These are available by prescription as well as over the counter, under the names of Nexium and Prilosec. They are made to treat gastro esophageal reflux diseases or GERD along with other acid-related medical conditions.
For the study, the researchers looked at medical records of 25,956 adults who had received vitamin B12 deficiency diagnoses between the years 1997 and 2011. Their data was compared with 184,199 patients who did not have vitamin B12 deficiency.
The results showed that those patients who took PPIs for over 2 years were 65 percent more likely to develop vitamin B12 deficiency. Patients who were given higher doses of the drug ran even higher possibility of having a really low level of the vitamin in their body.
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