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 health care provider 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 2 or 3 other medicines for up to 2 weeks. Or your provider may ask you to take these drugs for 8 weeks.
If your provider prescribes these medicines for you:
Side effects from PPIs are rare. You may have a headache, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or itching. Ask your provider about possible concerns with long-term use, such as infections and bone fractures.
If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, talk to your 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 provider if:
Aronson JK. Proton pump inhibitors. In: Aronson JK, ed. Meyler's Side Effects of Drugs. 16th ed. Walthman, MA: Elsevier; 2016:1040-1045.
Katz PO, Gerson LB, Vela MF. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2013;108(3):308-328. PMID: 23419381 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23419381/.
Kuipers EJ, Blaser MJ. Acid peptic disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 130.
Richter JE, Vaezi MF. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 46.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 4/22/2021
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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