[Risk of long-term treatment with proton pump inhibitors]

Nicolas Mathieu
La Revue du Praticien 2008 September 15, 58 (13): 1451-4
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have become the mainstay of therapy in acid-related upper gastrointestinal disorders including gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease. Alltough these medications are generally accepted as safe, the long-term clinical consequences of the inducing hypochlorhydria are not completely clear. Gastric acid production is mainly controlled by the hormone gastrin through a negative feedback in which hypochlorhydria induces an increase in serum gastrin. PPIs have been shown to increase serum gastrin levels. Gastric endocrine cell hyperplasia can occur in 10 to 30% of patients without carcinoid tumors. Recent studies indicate no association between PPI use and the risk of colorectal and gastric cancers. Proton pump inhibitor-associated gastric polyps are totally benign tumors that should not be followed. There is an association between PPIs-induced acid suppression and an increased risk of enteric infection. PPIs do not inhibit intestinal absorption of lipids, iron, phosphorus, magnesium or zinc from food but can affect vitamin B12 status in older patients. Despite the undoubted benefits of PPIs, the practitioner always needs to consider risks and benefits before initiating them.

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