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Proton pump inhibitors plays important role in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) by reducing the production of acid by blocking the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid. The reduction of acid prevents ulcers and allows any ulcers that exist in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to heal. They are called 'proton pump inhibitors' because they work by blocking (inhibiting) a chemical system called the hydrogen-potassium adenosine triphosphatase enzyme system (otherwise known as the 'proton pump'). This chemical system is found in the cells in the stomach lining that make stomach acid.
Stomach normally produces acid to help with the digestion of food and to kill bacteria. This acid is corrosive so your body produces a natural mucous barrier which protects the lining of the stomach from being eroded. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class (group) of drugs that work on the cells that line the stomach, reducing the production of acid. They include: esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole and rabeprazole, and come in various different brand names.
In some people this barrier may have broken down allowing the acid to damage the stomach, causing an ulcer. In others there may be a problem with the muscular band at the top of the stomach (the sphincter) that keeps the stomach tightly closed. This may allow the acid to escape and irritate the oesophagus (gullet). This is called 'acid reflux' which can cause heartburn and/or oesophagitis. PPIs stop cells in the lining of the stomach producing too much acid. This can help to prevent ulcers from forming or assist the healing process. By decreasing the amount of acid, they can also help to reduce acid reflux-related symptoms such as heartburn.
Proton pump inhibitors act by irreversibly blocking the hydrogen/potassium adenosine triphosphatase enzyme system (the H+/K+ ATPase, or, more commonly, the gastric proton pump) of the gastric parietal cells. The proton pump is the terminal stage in gastric acid secretion, being directly responsible for secreting H+ ions into the gastric lumen, making it an ideal target for inhibiting acid secretion.
Scope and Importance
Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a group of drugs whose main action is a pronounced and long-lasting reduction of gastric acid production. They are the most potent inhibitors of acid secretion available. In general, proton pump inhibitors are well tolerated, and the incidence of short-term adverse effects is relatively low. Long-term use of PPIs has been less studied than short-term use, and the lack of data makes it difficult to make definitive statements.
This statistic displays the market share of the top ten proton pump inhibitors based on total US prescriptions in 2013. In that year, Nexium was among the leading proton pump inhibitors with a total market share of 15.4 percent of prescriptions in the United States. Proton pump inhibitors are drugs that aid in the long-term reduction of gastric acid production. It is often used to treat conditions such as peptic ulcer disease and Barrett's esophagus.
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