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A clinical guide to using intravenous proton-pump inhibitors in reflux and peptic ulcers.

Intravenous (IV) proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are potent gastric acid suppressing agents, and their use is popular in clinical practice. Both IV and oral PPIs have similarly short half-lives, and their effects on acid secretion are similar, thus their dosing and dosage intervals appear to be interchangeable. The possible exception is when sustained high pHs are required to promote clot stabilization in bleeding peptic ulcers. Continuous infusion appears to be the only form of administration that reliably achieves these high target pHs. IV PPI is indicated in the treatment of high-risk peptic ulcers, complicated gastroesophageal reflux, stress-induced ulcer prophylaxis, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and whenever it is impossible or impractical to give oral therapy. The widespread use of PPIs has been controversial. IV PPIs have been linked to the development of nosocomial pneumonia in the intensive care setting and to spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in cirrhotic patients. This review discusses the use of IV PPI in different clinical scenarios, its controversies, and issues of appropriate use.

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