Study says go easy on ICU antacids
Over the last several decades, the prophylactic use of acid-suppressive medications to help prevent gastrointestinal bleeding (GI) in hospitalized patients has increased significantly, with some studies estimating that as many as 40 to 70 percent of all medical inpatients are given these drugs at some point during their hospitalization.
But, for patients who are not critically ill, the actual incidence of GI bleeding has not been well investigated.
Now, a study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and reported in today's on-line issue of The Archives of Internal Medicine finds that, outside of the intensive care unit (ICU), GI bleeding is rare, regardless of whether or not patients receive medication. And, say the authors, given that acid suppressive drugs have been associated with such complications as pneumonia and Clostridium difficile infections, these new findings suggest that, for the average hospital inpatient, the risks of acid suppressive agents may outweigh the benefits.
To learn more, click here,