, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 307-335
Date: 29 Nov 2012

Proton Pump Inhibitors

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Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are drugs which irreversibly inhibit proton pump (H+/K+ ATPase) function and are the most potent gastric acid-suppressing agents in clinical use. There is now a substantial body of evidence showing improved efficacy of PPIs over the histamine H2 receptor antagonists and other drugs in acid-related disorders.

Omeprazole 20 mg/day, lansoprazole 30 mg/day, pantoprazole 40 mg/day or rabeprazole 20 mg/day for 2 to 4 weeks are more effective than standard doses of H2-receptor antagonists in healing duodenal and gastric ulcers. Patients with gastric ulcers should receive standard doses of PPIs as for duodenal ulcers but for a longer time period (4 to 8 weeks). There is no conclusive evidence to support the use of a particular PPI over another for either duodenal or gastric ulcer healing.

For Helicobacter pylori- positive duodenal ulceration, a combination of a PPI and 2 antibacterialswill eradicate H. pylori in over 90% of cases and significantly reduce ulcer recurrence. Patients with H. pylori- positive gastric ulcers should be managed similarly. PPIs also have efficacy advantages over ranitidine and misoprostol and are better tolerated than misoprostol in patients taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

In endoscopically proven gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, standard daily doses of the PPIs are more effective than H2-receptor antagonists for healing, and patients should receive a 4 to 8 week course of treatment. For severe reflux, with ulceration and/or stricture formation, a higher dose regimen (omeprazole 40mg, lansoprazole 60mg, pantoprazole 80mg or rabeprazole 40mg daily) appears to yield better healing rates. There is little evidence that PPIs lead to resolution of Barrett's oesophagus or a reduction of subsequent adenocarcinoma development, but PPIs are indicated in healing of any associated ulceration. In Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, PPIs have become the treatment of choice for the management of gastric acid hypersecretion.