Proton pump inhibitors, such as pantoprazole, omeprazole, suppress the secretion of gastric acid by irreversibly inhibiting the proton pump in the gastric vestibular cells.
Proton pump inhibitors are used in situations where inhibition of gastric acid secretion is beneficial, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.1 This is a common condition in industrialized countries of the Western world. 10% of the population suffer from daily or weekly reflux symptoms.
Medications may exacerbate symptoms, including calcium antagonists, nitro medications, theophyllines (exacerbation of reflux-related asthma), anticholinergics, psychotropic drugs, oral contraceptives, peppermint oil-containing preparations, and others.
It is known from numerous studies that reflux symptoms decrease dramatically within a few days under effective therapy. Due to the superior effect of acid inhibition via proton pump inhibitors compared to other forms of therapy, primary therapy should be carried out with a proton pump inhibitor, whereby the therapy result also provides diagnostic information. In the majority of cases, a long-term therapy concept is required. In this context, long-term treatment can usually be carried out as “on demand” therapy with acid secretion inhibitors. The efficacy of such a therapeutic concept is well established, especially for proton pump inhibitors.2
1 Sweetman SC (ed.), Martindale. The Complete Drug Reference: http://www.medicinescomplete.com/ (accessed: 11/20/2013).
2 Koop et al. Gastroesophageal reflux disease-results of an evidence-based consensus conference of the German Society for Digestive and Metabolic Diseases. Z Gastroenterol 2005, 43: 163-164.