Infant Exposure to Acid Suppressant Medications Increases Risk of Recurrent Wheeze and Asthma in Childhood

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2022 Nov;10(11):2935-2940.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2022.07.013. Epub 2022 Jul 22.


Background: Acid suppressant medications (ASMs) are commonly prescribed in infancy. Little is known about the relationship between ASM exposure and risk of childhood asthma and atopic conditions.

Objective: We sought to examine the association between infant ASM exposure and risk for developing recurrent wheeze, allergen sensitization, and asthma in early childhood.

Methods: We used data from a diverse, multicenter, prospective cohort study of 921 infants with a history of bronchiolitis. ASM exposure (histamine-2 receptor antagonists and/or proton pump inhibitors) during infancy (age: <12 months) was ascertained by parent report and medical record review. The outcomes were recurrent wheeze by age 3 years, early childhood allergen sensitization (serum specific IgE), and asthma by age 6 years. We constructed multivariable Cox proportional hazards models and multivariable logistic regression models adjusting for multiple confounders.

Results: Of the 921 children in the cohort, 202 (22%) were exposed to ASMs during infancy. Compared with unexposed children, those exposed to ASM were more likely to develop recurrent wheeze by age 3 years (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.58, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.20-2.08, P = .001) and asthma by age 6 years (adjusted odds ratio: 1.66, 95% CI: 1.22-2.27, P = .001). ASM exposure during infancy was not significantly associated with the development of early childhood allergen sensitization (adjusted odds ratio: 1.00, 95% CI: 0.70-1.44, P = .99).

Conclusions: Although exposure to ASMs during infancy does not increase the risk of allergen sensitization in early childhood, ASM exposure during infancy increases the risk of recurrent wheeze and asthma during early childhood.

Keywords: Acid suppressant medications; Asthma; Childhood; Recurrent wheeze.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Allergens
  • Asthma* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Sounds*
  • Risk Factors


  • Allergens