Are There Differences Between Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)?

Why Not All PPIs Are the Same

Prilosec is a proton pump inhibitor.
Prilosec is a proton pump inhibitor. Marc Andrew Deley/Getty Images

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are common medications used to treat conditions like chronic heartburn or GERD. As implied by the name, all PPIs are similar to one another in how they work. PPIs dosages are generally once a day as their effects are meant to last for 24 hours, and because most are metabolized in the liver, you will want to avoid drinking alcohol while taking them. While these medications are similar, they do differ in what conditions they treat and how they interact with other medications.

Comparison of Common Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

Here is a comprehensive list of common proton pump inhibitors, the conditions they treat, and how they are available.

AcipHex (raberprazole)Treats peptic and esophageal ulcers, GERD and erosive esophagitisAvailable by prescription
Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)Treats gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and erosive esophagitis. Dexilant, as well as Kapidex, can also be used to prevent erosive esophagitis from returning in patients who have been treated for this condition.Available by prescription
Nexium (esomeprazole)Treat GERD, stomach and peptic ulcers, erosive esophagitis and Zollinger-Ellison syndromeAvailable by prescription and over-the-counter
Prevacid (lansoprazole)Treats and prevents peptic ulcers, erosive esophagitis, GERD, and Zollinger-Ellison syndromeAvailable by prescription and over-the-counter
Prilosec (omeprazole)Treats peptic ulcers, GERD and erosive esophagitisAvailable by prescription and over-the-counter
Protonix (pantoprazole)Treats erosive esophagitis and Zollinger-Ellison SyndromeAvailable by prescription

Long-Term Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors

On a general note, PPIs are not meant to be taken for long periods of time even though they are available over-the-counter. Recent research has associated chronic use of these medications to heart attack, kidney disease, and increased fracture risk. Always speak to your doctor about the medications that you are taking.

Related PPI Resources

Sources:

Kenneth R. DeVault M.D., F.A.C.G., and Donald O. Castell M.D., M.A.C.G., "Updated Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease." doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.41217.x. American College of Gastroenterology. 6 Jun 2008

Nicholas J. Talley, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.G.,1 Nimish Vakil, M.D., F.A.C.G., "Guidelines for the Management of Dyspepsia." doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.00225.x. American College of Gastroenterology. 6 Jun 2008

"Understanding Some of the Medications Often Prescribed for GERD & Ulcers." Common GI Problems: Volume 1. American College of Gastroenterology. 6 Jun 2008

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