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Babies who are given antacids are more likely to develop allergies

Posted at 12:56 AM, Apr 03, 2018

A new study suggests that infants who are given antacids like Zantac or Pepcid are more likely to develop childhood allergies.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, says this could be because the drugs alter a baby's gut bacteria.

Early use of antibiotics also raised the chances of allergies in the study of nearly 800,000 children.

Researchers loked at the health records of children born between 2001 and 2013 and were covered by Tricare. Nine-percent of the babies received antacids, reflecting the popularity of treating reflux in infancy.

Over four years, more than half of all the children developed allergies to foods or medications, rashes, asthma, hay fever or other allergic diseases. 

For children who received an antacid during their first six months, the chances of developing a food allergy doubled; the chances of developing a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis or hay fever were about 50 percent higher. For babies who received antibiotics, the chances doubled for asthma and were at least 50 percent higher for hay fever and anaphylaxis.