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GERD drugs lead to weight gain

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

New research from Japan scientists shows that long term use of popular drugs to treat GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), seem to lead to weight gain. The study is the first to investigate the effect of GERD drugs on body weight, and show that patients taking the popular reflux drugs should be encouraged to take extra care not to overeat and manage weight.

The most popularly prescribed drugs for GERD are called PPI’s (proton pump inhibitors). The medications are widely used as a mainstay for treating acid reflux. The researchers studied 58 patients taking GERD drugs and found that 71 percent gained 6.2 percent of their baseline body weight over a two year period. Only six percent lost weight.

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Patients with reflux disease, taking GERD drugs (proton pump inhibitors) might be cautioned to take extra care to avoid unwanted weight gain. For the study, body weight and body mass index were similar at baseline. The group was followed for 2.2 years.

The authors say lifestyle changes should be the focus of treating patients with GERD, given the findings that long term use of reflux drugs can lead to weight gain. Exercise and avoidance of overeating should be encouraged to cut medical costs associated with diseases that stem from obesity.

Patients taking GERD drugs gained seven pounds, compared to a control group. The control group showed no changes in weight. The authors concluded that patients treated for GERD should be encouraged to manage body weight and follow a healthy diet.

Reference: Wjgnet.com