Meds may double allergy, asthma risk

Bloomberg  Getty Images

Bloomberg Getty Images

Antibiotics also were associated with increased risk of all major categories for allergic disease.

According to a new study in JAMA Pediatrics, babies who are given antacids like Zantac and Pepcid are more likely to develop childhood allergies. Such cases have continued to increase over the past few decades, with the sum of people with asthma in the USA rising by over 60 percent since the early 1980s.

Researchers looked at the health records of almost 8,000 children.

The study doesn't prove that antacids and antibiotics cause allergies but it certainly raises some questions.

Babies who were given antacids in their first six months since birth saw their risk of developing a food allergy double, while the risk of developing a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis or hay fever increased by 50 percent. Acid-suppressing medicines and antibiotics can contribute to a microbial imbalance in the gut (intestinal dysbiosis). By giving babies such medication, the gut is thrown off balance, resulting in an overreaction in their immune systems that may appear as an allergy. Earlier this year, a powerful antibiotic found in dirt was discovered to be capable of killing the drug-resistant superbugs. In the meantime, in the month of March, a breakthrough research resulted in a new class of synthesized natural antibiotic which is capable of destroying the superbugs and even diminishes the severity of the infection.

Many babies are prescribed antacids for reflux and babies are often given antibiotics for a variety of reasons.

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