STYLE
02/16/2012 02:43 EST | Updated 04/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Commonly used antacid drugs may raise C. difficile risk: Health Canada

TORONTO - Health Canada is warning Canadians that people who take prescription antacid drugs known as proton pump inhibitors may be at increased risk of developing C. difficile.

The statement comes a week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the possible link between the commonly used drugs and C. difficile.

Health Canada says a link between the acid-suppressing drugs and C. difficile diarrhea hasn't been confirmed but cannot be ruled out either.

Studies dating back to 2003 have suggested people who take the drugs for conditions such as acid reflux and stomach ulcers are at increased risk of developing C. diff.

Other factors known to increase the risk of C. difficile diarrhea include being elderly, having a severe illness, being hospitalized and taking antibiotics.

Health Canada says it has been reviewing the studies on an ongoing basis, and will continue to evaluate scientific data on the issue as it emerges.