Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are medicines that work by reducing the amount of stomach acid made by glands in the lining of your stomach.
Proton pump inhibitors are used to:
There are many names and brands of PPIs. Most work equally as well. Side effects may vary from drug to drug.
PPIs are taken by mouth. They are available as tablets or capsules. Commonly, these medicines are taken 30 minutes before the first meal of the day.
You can buy some brands of PPIs at the store without a prescription. Talk to your doctor if you find you have to take these medicines on most days. Some people who have acid reflux may need to take PPIs every day. Others may control symptoms with a PPI every other day.
If you have a peptic ulcer, your doctor may prescribe PPIs along with two or three other medicines for up to 2 weeks. Or your doctor may ask you to take these drugs for 8 weeks.
If your doctor prescribes these medicines for you:
Side effects from PPIs are rare. You may have a headache, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or itching. Ask your doctor about possible concerns with long-term use, such as infections and bone fractures.
If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, talk to your health care provider before taking these medicines.
Tell your doctor if you are also taking other medicines. PPIs may change the way certain drugs work, including some anti-seizure medicines and blood thinners such as warfarin or clopidogrel (Plavix).
Call your doctor if:
Katz PO, Gerson LB, Vela MF. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2013;108:308-328.
Richter JE, Friedenberg FK. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 43.
Updated by: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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