Gastric Acid Inhibitors Linked to Increase in Allergy Medication Use

Use of gastric acid inhibitors is significantly associated with the likelihood of anti-allergic medications, according to the results of a recent study.

Previous observational and animal studies have shown a relationship between gastric acid suppression and allergy, but how gastric acid inhibitors affect allergy incidence at the population level is unknown.

For their study, researchers analyzed data from health insurance records covering about 97% of the Austrian population (8.2 million people) between 2009 and 2013.

Overall, 416,615 first prescriptions of anti-allergic drugs occurred in patients who were previously prescribed an acid inhibitor (event rate 5.12% person-years), while 810,990 first prescriptions of anti-allergic medications occurred in patients not prescribed acid inhibitors (event rate 2.61% person-years).  The rate ratio for prescription an anti-allergic drug after an acid inhibitor in the total population was 1.96.

“[W]e observed a highly significant increase in prescription of drugs relieving allergic symptoms in patients who were on treatment with gastric acid inhibitors of any class. Our findings confirm an epidemiological association between gastric acid suppression and development of allergic symptoms, in line with previous mechanistic animal trials and human observational studies,” they concluded.

—Michael Potts


Jordakieva g, Kundi M, Untersmayr E, et al. Country-wide medical records infer increased allergy risk of gastric acid inhibition [published online July 30, 2019]. Nat Commun.