Reflux treatment linked to bowel infection in premature infants

February 13, 2006

Researchers in an NIH network have found that premature infants given a common class of nonprescription drugs used to treat acid reflux are slightly more likely to develop a potentially fatal bowel disorder than are infants who are not treated with the drugs. The drugs, known as H 2 blockers, inhibit the production of stomach acid and may put premature infants at risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious inflammation of the intestines.

Reflux treatment linked to bowel infection in premature infants

Researchers in an NIH network have found that premature infants given a common class of nonprescription drugs used to treat acid reflux are slightly more likely to develop a potentially fatal bowel disorder than are infants who are not treated with the drugs. The drugs, known as H2 blockers, inhibit the production of stomach acid and may put premature infants at risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious inflammation of the intestines. The study was published in the February 2006 Pediatrics and was conducted by researchers in the NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. The researchers pointed out that it is not possible to tell from the study whether the drugs caused the condition but advised caution with their use for premature infants.

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