PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a new warning for patients who are taking certain heartburn and acid reflux drugs.

The FDA believes that taking proton pump inhibitors like Nexium, Prilosec, Zegerid and Prevacid may increase your risk of developing a stomach infection.

The medicines work by reducing stomach acid, and while it helps treat the illness, it may be doing some harm too.

“I think one of the things we do know that stomach acid is very important in protecting against infections in the body, especially in the gastrointestinal system, and I think that anything that depletes that acid will certainly increase the risk of infections,” Dr. Abhijit Kulkarni, the director of endoscopy at Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Allegheny Health System.

Doctors say while there is no epidemic, people who take proton pump inhibitors need to be cautious.

Some side effects are common, but if you start experiencing more pronounced symptoms you should see your doctor right away.

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