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Chirurg. 2012 Jan;83(1):38-44. doi: 10.1007/s00104-011-2173-x.

[Newly recognized side-effects of proton pump inhibitors. Arguments in favour of fundoplication for GERD?].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Allgemein-, Viszeral-, Gefäß und Kinderchirurgie, Zentrum für operative Medizin, Universitätsklinikum Würzburg, Oberdürrbacherstr. 6, 97080, Würzburg, Deutschland.


Among other indications proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are used as medical treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and are the most frequently prescribed and most frequently used drugs in gastroenterology. Until recently PPIs were regarded as very safe and associated with very few side-effects. However, during recent years study results have revealed many severe adverse events associated especially with long-term PPI use. We review the currently available evidence, regarding the side-effects of PPIs and discuss the potential impact on treatment strategies for GERD (conservative treatment vs. antireflux surgery). Currently available data suggest that PPIs are associated with osteoporosis-related fractures, Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD), community and hospital-acquired pneumonia, pharmacologic interaction with clopidogrel and acetylsalicylic acid with subsequent increased rate of cardiovascular events, refractory hypomagnesemia and rebound reflux symptoms etc. The risk-benefit ratio of PPIs is increasingly recognized as being less favourable. This leads to a more critical viewpoint and raises the question whether the side-effects of PPIs may outweigh the benefits, especially with long-term use. The side-effects of PPIs seem to make a strong argument in favour of laparoscopic fundoplication in the treatment of GERD.

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