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Pharmacy/acid reflux meds for elderly


QUESTION: My mother is 90 yrs old and has 'heartburn' a lot. She said Zantac doesn't help as much as it used to. Would something like Prevacid, Prilosec or Nexium, that is now over the counter, be too strong or harmful to someone that age? If so, is there something else she could take? But if those are still safe for her, is one more recommended than the other, considering her age?  Thanks

They are all effective and relatively safe for occasional use or to be use for less than 12 weeks according to the manifacturers. PPI, s such as Prolosec, Nexium can increase the risk of getting C/ difficult and pneumonia in the elderly. Zane should check with her before taking either one. Hope this helps, Mdryp

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QUESTION: When you said risk of getting 'C/difficult' and 'Zane' should check with her... Maybe it was a typo but I don't know what that means. Thanks

I'm so sorry! I was trying to answer this question on my iPhone. It switches letters around sometimes. I meant to type  " PPI's (proton pump inhibitors) can increase the risk of C. difficile which is a bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea. And she should check with her doctor before taking either one. Mary


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Mary E Scott, RPh, CGP


I am a certified geriatric pharmacist with over 23 years experience as a long-term care consultant to nursing homes. I also do community-based consulting on an individual basis. My facility-based monthly newsletter on pharmacy topics is read by nurses in over 200 long-term care facilities in 5 states.


I received a BS in Pharmacy in 1980 with post-graduate work in public health. I have had a Consultant Pharmacist license since 1984.

American Society of Consultant Pharmacists
.I received certification in geriatric pharmacy in 1998.

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