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Digestive Disorders

Iron deficiency problems

12/14/1998

Question:

I am a 37 y.o. female with multiple medical problems including Sarcoidosis, Fibromyalgia, Degenerative disc ds., and have had ulcer problems for many years. I am now severely iron deficient Transferrin 14 and a sat of 10%, despite taking 2 Niferex a day for 1 1/2 years. I have been on prilosec for 6 years now, and I have guaiac negative stools. I haven't had a GI workup for 5 years. Do you think it is necessary to do a full workup, even though my guaiacs are negative? Do you think the Prilosec could be contributing to the iron deficiency, by causing it to not be absoebed? I've been told you can take it long term, but have there been any problems like this with long term Prilosec use?

Answer:

Prilosec does not significantly interfere with absorption of iron in normals, although absorption may be somewhat less efficient. Unexplained iron deficiency always warrants a thorough evaluation to determine the cause. Iron deficiency may result from poor absorption, excessive losses or some combination of the two. Determining the problem precisely allows institution of effective therapy.

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Response by:

Michael Patrick Jones, MD, FACP Michael Patrick Jones, MD, FACP
Director, Center for Digestive Motility Disorders
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati