Long Term Proton Pump Inhibition with Omeprazole may Lead to Iron Deficiency Anaemia

Dear Ask The Doctor:  I've been reading that people who take Prilosec for heartburn control should not take iron supplements. Why is this? What type of drug interaction does this cause?

Dear Patient:  Proton Pump Inhibitors such as omeprazole (prilosec) may decrease the absorption of Iron Salts. There are a few case reports that even suggest iron deficiency anaemia may be induced by long term ingestion of omeprazole. This is due to the fact that non haem iron found in plant foods requires an acidic gastric environment for absorption. Supplementation may be advisable, if you are on long term treatment with a proton pump inhibitor but avoid taking both medications at the same time.

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