Side Effects of Proton Pump Inhibitors

Caiaimage / Rafal Rodzoch / Getty Images

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) as a class of medicine are very safe, work the same way, are roughly interchangeable, and only rarely cause severe side effects. However, because they can reduce your stomach acid, they can increase the chances of getting certain infections and can decrease absorption of certain medicines. This is why you need to discuss these medicines with your health care provider.

Lists of side effects caused by drugs need to be read with a keen eye -– they are lists of symptoms experienced by patients during clinical studies, and aren’t always common nor are they always actually caused by the medicine. Moreover, depending on how the side effect data is collected, and what type of underlying illnesses the study patients have, the detail and accuracy vary. Nevertheless, for severe side effects, and for symptoms of hives/breathing/difficulty swallowing, you should be sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately.

What Are the Different Types of Proton Pump Inhibitors?

The different types of PPIs include Aciphex, Dexilant, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix.

Possible Side Effects of Proton Pump Inhibitors

As mentioned above, side effects from the use of PPIs are rarely severe. If side effects do occur, they are usually mild and disappear quickly. Also, the side effects for each PPI are very similar to those of the other PPIs.

What Are Proton Pump Inhibitors Used For?

Proton pump inhibitors are used in the treatment of GERD, peptic ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Doctors may prescribe using PPIs alone or in combination with antacids. PPIs may also be used in combination with certain antibiotics (e.g. amoxicillin and clarithromycin) when treating Helicobacter pylori (H.

pylori) infection (a bacterial infection of the stomach), which is thought to be one of the main causes of recurring stomach ulcers.

How Do Proton Pump Inhibitors Work?

Your stomach produces acid to help break down food so it is easier to digest. In certain circumstances, this acid can irritate the lining of your stomach and duodenum (the upper part of your small intestine), causing heartburn and even ulcers.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) work by blocking the production of stomach acid. The stomach contains a pump, called the gastric acid pump, which produces stomach acid.

PPIs block the secretion of acid into the stomach by binding to these pumps. Decreasing the amount of stomach acid can help ulcers heal and reflux to subside.

How Are Proton Pump Inhibitors Different from H2 Blockers?

Both Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 Blockers suppress gastric acid secretion. They are, however, different in how they do this. While PPIs shut down the cell pumps that maintain the acidic environment in the stomach, H2 Blockers work by blocking signals generated by histamine receptors on cells that are responsible for acid secretion.

PPIs have a delayed onset of action, while H2 blockers begin working within an hour.

PPIs work for a longer period of time; most last up to 24 hours and the effects may last up to three days. H2 Blockers, however, usually only work up to 12 hours.

Proton Pump Inhibitors include:

  • Aciphex (raberprazole)
  • Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Prevacid (lansoprazole)
  • Prilosec (omeprazole)
  • Protonix (pantoprazole)

H2 blockers include:

  • Zantac (ranitidine)
  • Pepcid (famotidine)
  • Tagamet (cimetidine)
  • Axid (nizatidine)

Continue Reading