FAQ: Medications and Procedure Questions

Q: Which medications will affect the outcome of a hydrogen breath test?

A: PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors such as Prilosec Nexium and Prevacid)

  • If the patient has been on a PPI for a while (a few months), the patient may stay on the medication and leave a note listing the medication in his or her kit when it’s sent back
  • If the patient takes it as needed or just started the medication, he or she should be off the medication for the preparation period and the day of the test

A: H2 Blockers (such as Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet)

  • If the patient has been on H2 blockers for a while (a few months), the patient may stay on the medication and leave a note listing the medication in his or her kit when it’s sent back
  • If the patient takes it as needed or just started the medication, he or she should be off the medication for the preparation period and the day of the test

A: Narcotics

  • Do not take these the day of the test

A: Laxatives (such as Metamucil, Dulcolax, Ex-Lax)

  • Stop taking one day before taking the test

A: Antibiotics

  • Stop taking 2 weeks before taking the test

A: Probiotics

  • Stop taking 5 days before taking the test

Q: Which procedures or conditions will affect the outcome of a test?

A: Colonoscopy

  • Must wait 2 weeks before taking the test

A: Gastric Bypass surgery

  • Will accelerate transit time, leave note in the test kit

A: Gastroparesis

  • Food will stay in stomach much longer, fermenting
  • May result in a high hydrogen baseline

Q: What about patients who have diabetes?

A: Patients with Type I: Basal insulin recommended; no pre-meal insulin. Candy with sucrose or glucose can be used for low blood sugar levels. Only take lactulose test.

A: Patients with Type II: Forgo medications the day of the test. The test should be started as early as possible in the morning.

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