Drug-induced hypochlorhydria causes high duodenal bacterial counts in the elderly
Article first published online: 25 DEC 2001
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 99–104, January 1998
How to Cite
Pereira, Gainsborough and Dowling (1998), Drug-induced hypochlorhydria causes high duodenal bacterial counts in the elderly. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 12: 99–104. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.1998.00275.x
- Issue published online: 25 DEC 2001
- Article first published online: 25 DEC 2001
Small bowel bacterial overgrowth secondary to drug-induced hypochlorhydria may be of particular importance in the elderly, in whom anti-ulcer drugs are commonly prescribed and the consequences of malabsorption may be severe.
Duodenal aspirates were obtained from elderly individuals before (n=24) and during a 2-month treatment course with either omeprazole (20 mg daily; n=8) or ranitidine (300 mg b.d.; n=6), and from six patients with small bowel bacterial overgrowth who had diarrhoea and malabsorption.
Before treatment, duodenal bacterial counts were normal (< 104 colony forming units/mL) in 23 elderly subjects (96%). However, six of 14 patients (43%) treated with omeprazole (5 of 8) or ranitidine (1 of 6) developed bacterial counts> 105 cfu/mL. All remained asymptomatic and had normal lactulose breath H2 profiles during treatment.
Drug-induced hypochlorhydria causes high duodenal bacterial counts in the elderly but, in the short term, this bacterial overgrowth is not associated with malabsorption.