Babies who are given antacids or antibiotics during their first 6 months of life may have a sharply higher risk for allergies or asthma, a large new study warns.
The finding is based on an analysis of health records of more than 792,000 children born between 2001 and 2013. While the study does not prove that the medications cause allergy, lead author Dr. Edward Mitre said the links appear to be strong.
“I did find it striking that we found positive associations between the use of antacid medications and virtually every class of allergy we evaluated,” he said. That associated risk “appears substantial and clinically significant,” Mitre added.
Infant antacid exposure was linked to a doubling of the risk for developing food allergies, and a 50 percent increase in the risk for developing drug allergies and a hypersensitive immune reaction to foreign toxins, such as a bee sting (anaphylaxis).