For what conditions are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used?
Proton pump inhibitors are used for the prevention and treatment of acid-related conditions such as:
- duodenal stomach ulcers
- NSAID-associated ulcer
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD),and
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
They also are used in combination with antibiotics for eradicating Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that together with acid causes ulcers of the stomach and duodenum.
What are the side effects of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)?
The most common side effects of proton pump inhibitors are:
Nevertheless, proton pump inhibitors generally are well tolerated.
PPIs may increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection. High doses and long-term use (1 year or longer) may increase the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine. Prolonged use also reduces absorption of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin).
Long-term use of PPIs has also been associated with low levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia). Analysis of patients taking PPIs for long periods of time showed an increased risk of heart attacks.
Therefore, it is important to use the lowest doses and shortest duration of treatment necessary for the condition being treated.
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