The purpose of this review is to evaluate the risks associated with long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), focusing on long-term use of PPIs for three common indications: gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett's esophagus (BE), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) bleeding prophylaxis.
The recommendations outlined in this review are based on expert opinion and on relevant publications from PubMed, EMbase, and the Cochrane library (through July 2016). To identify relevant ongoing trials, we queried clinicaltrials.gov. To assess the quality of evidence, we used a modified approach based on the GRADE Working Group. The Clinical Practice Updates Committee of the American Gastroenterological Association has reviewed these recommendations. Best Practice Advice 1: Patients with GERD and acid-related complications (ie, erosive esophagitis or peptic stricture) should take a PPI for short-term healing, maintenance of healing, and long-term symptom control. Best Practice Advice 2: Patients with uncomplicated GERD who respond to short-term PPIs should subsequently attempt to stop or reduce them. Patients who cannot reduce PPIs should consider ambulatory esophageal pH/impedance monitoring before committing to lifelong PPIs to help distinguish GERD from a functional syndrome. The best candidates for this strategy may be patients with predominantly atypical symptoms or those who lack an obvious predisposition to GERD (eg, central obesity, large hiatal hernia). Best Practice Advice 3: Patients with Barrett's esophagus and symptomatic GERD should take a long-term PPI. Best Practice Advice 4: Asymptomatic patients with Barrett's esophagus should consider a long-term PPI. Best Practice Advice 5: Patients at high risk for ulcer-related bleeding from NSAIDs should take a PPI if they continue to take NSAIDs. Best Practice Advice 6: The dose of long-term PPIs should be periodically reevaluated so that the lowest effective PPI dose can be prescribed to manage the condition. Best Practice Advice 7: Long-term PPI users should not routinely use probiotics to prevent infection. Best Practice Advice 8: Long-term PPI users should not routinely raise their intake of calcium, vitamin B12, or magnesium beyond the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Best Practice Advice 9: Long-term PPI users should not routinely screen or monitor bone mineral density, serum creatinine, magnesium, or vitamin B12. Best Practice Advice 10: Specific PPI formulations should not be selected based on potential risks.