News Release

AGA releases best practice advice on long-term PPI use

Health-care professionals should weigh the risks and benefits of use for common conditions

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Gastroenterological Association

Bethesda, MD (April 7, 2017) -- When proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are appropriately prescribed, their benefits are likely to outweigh their risks, according to an American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Clinical Practice Update1 published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of AGA. Additionally, there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend specific strategies for mitigating PPI adverse effects.

The long-term use of PPIs by patients for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett's esophagus and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) bleeding prophylaxis doubled in the U.S. from 1999 to 2012. Studies have shown that the number of adverse events doubled during the same period. AGA provides best practice advice for the use of PPIs based on expert opinion and relevant publications:

1. Patients with GERD and acid-related complications should take a PPI for short-term healing, maintenance of healing and long-term symptom control.

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.

3. Patients with Barrett's esophagus and symptomatic GERD should take a long-term PPI.

4. Asymptomatic patients with Barrett's esophagus should consider a long-term PPI.

5. Patients at high risk for ulcer-related bleeding from NSAIDs should take a PPI, if they continue to take NSAIDs.

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.

7. Long-term PPI users should not routinely use probiotics to prevent infection.

8. Long-term PPI users should not routinely raise their intake of calcium, vitamin B12 or magnesium beyond the recommended dietary allowance.

9. Long-term PPI users should not routinely screen or monitor bone mineral density, serum creatinine, magnesium or vitamin B12.

10. Specific PPI formulations should not be selected based on potential risks.

How to Discuss with Patients

t is necessary for health-care professionals to talk with their patients to ensure high-quality patient care. To help patients understand the importance of using PPIs as directed, AGA has developed talking points for health-care professionals to use to help facilitate discussions about the need to correctly use PPIs for condition and symptom management. Learn more at to Patients.

1 Freedberg DE, Kim LS, Yang YX, The Risks and Benefits of Long-term Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors: Expert Review and Best Practice Advice From the American Gastroenterological Association, Gastroenterology (2016), doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.01.031.


About the AGA Institute

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization.

About Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology, the official journal of the AGA Institute, is the most prominent scientific journal in the specialty and is in the top 1 percent of indexed medical journals internationally. The journal publishes clinical and basic science studies of all aspects of the digestive system, including the liver and pancreas, as well as nutrition. The journal is abstracted and indexed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences, Chemical Abstracts, Current Contents, Excerpta Medica, Index Medicus, Nutrition Abstracts and Science Citation Index. For more information, visit

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