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Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

Patient information A-Z


The following are some examples of brand names of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs):

  • Omeprazole
  • Lansoprazole
  • Pantoprazole
  • Rabeprazole
  • Esomeprazole

What are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and what do they do?

PPIs work to reduce acid production in the stomach.

Large amounts of acid in the stomach can cause indigestion, acid regurgitation (acid coming ‘back up’ the throat especially when lying down) or sometimes stomach ulcers. PPIs stop stomach acid collecting in the stomach and therefore stop causing problems such as indigestion and regurgitation.

Why am I prescribed a proton pump inhibitor?

PPIs are prescribed by your doctor if you have symptoms such as indigestion, acid regurgitation or dyspepsia or have a history of stomach ulcers. They are also used to protect you stomach against other medications you are taking (such as aspirin or steroids) even if you have no symptoms of indigestion or dyspepsia.

How do I take my proton pump inhibitor?

PPIs are normally taken once daily but occasionally your doctor may increase this to twice a day to help to control your symptoms. PPIs can be taken at any time of the day.

Although PPIs are often prescribed to take regularly, some people find that they only need to take them occasionally to control any symptoms of indigestion or dyspepsia. However, if you are taking your PPI to protect you stomach against other medications you are taking (such as aspirin or steroids) then it should be taken regularly even if you have no symptoms of indigestion or dyspepsia.

Do I need to have any tests or be monitored because I am taking a proton pump inhibitor?

Usually no extra tests are required when you are taking a PPI but your doctor will tell you if you need to have any further investigations.

Are there any side effects?

The main side effects seen with PPIs include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

These side effects should be mild, but if you have any concerns about these or any other side effects please contact your doctor or specialist nurse for advice.

Are there any problems taking proton pump inhibitors with any other medications?

Most other medicines can be taken safely with PPIs. However, only take tablets prescribed for you by your doctor and check with your pharmacist before taking any new medicines.

Further information

Further information about your tablet can be found in the patient information leaflet found in the tablet/capsule box or on the container.

If you have any other questions about your medication, please contact the medicines helpline on 01223 217502.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

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Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151