This is a warning to all of you who take anti antacid drugs regularly. You know the sort you buy over the counter at the chemist and supermarket. For years these drugs like Zantac/Ranitidine have been considered as safe as houses but now it seems they are not and the US Federal Drug Administration has delivered a waring that long term use of these drugs can damage your health as use can lead to diarrhea and the deadly hospital super bug Clostridium Difficile. You do not want this.
How do I know? Well ten years ago I caught this bug possible because of a hospital stay and use of a Protein Pump Inhibitor for heliobacter. CD nearly killed me. CD kills.
Consequently the hospital docs warned me never, never to use a PPI again EVER! I knew this, I have it written on all my medical notes, NO PPI's but my GP who has now left for Australia did not think it was of consequence and prescribed one without telling me. I immediately checked on Wikipedia and found it was a PPI and I refused to take it
My oh so clever GP then prescribed Ranitidine without telling me that this was a sort of PPI! He said it was a safe alternative. He warned me I should not get well without it and that I had to take it for at least 6 months. I did not fare well on this drug. I took it for two months because my GP said if I refused to take it he would not treat me. I lost weight even though I was eating over 2000 calories a day and started to have long term diarrhea.
It got to be so bad I returned only to be fobbed off with a slightly lower dose. I felt awful.
It was only after a visit to the hospital dietician who had been very helpful when I was first ill I discovered that Ranitidine was in a PPI and later that day to my horror I discovered that on the 2nd February this year the US FDA had issued a warning that these drugs can lead to CD. I came off it that night.
My message is it is vital to check any drug given on Wikipedia or browse for Adverse Drug Effects before you take it. I trusted this doctor but he let me down twice and if I had not found out it could have been serious. Obviously to be fair a GP cannot know everything. Medicine moves too fast these days but even so this is a serious warning.
Lesson. Only take an anti antacid if absolutely necessary. Even simple ones like Mylanta should be used sparingly and if you do not believe maybe you will believe the FDA
PS Twenty one days later I am feeling better thanks in due to a new diet regime I found on the web Reflux Defense. I have gained weight and slowly recovering.
This is last post on my health.