Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) Introduction

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are used for treating acid reflux and ulcers of the stomach and part of the gut. They reduce the amount of acid produced by blocking the enzyme present in the wall of the stomach that is responsible for producing acid. Acid is an important component in the formation of ulcers in the food pipe and stomach, the reduction in the amount of acid produced prevents ulcers and any ulcers that are already present began to heal slowly.

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These are also used in GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. In this disease the food or liquid rather than being digested in the stomach develops a habit of moving up the food pipe.

Market for Proton Pump Inhibitors

The global market for PPIs is growing rapidly at a CAGR of 5%. The market driving factors in this case are the leaps in digestive medicine requirement due to more and more digestive problems in aging population worldwide and also in younger population due to unhealthy life style and improper and unbalanced diet. The global market for the Proton Pump Inhibitors was evaluated at USD 174 million in 2013 and it is still rising rapidly due to the factors mentioned earlier.

U.S. accounts for more than 75% of the total market but will soon be left behind by Asia Pacific region due to greater need of healthcare, rapidly rising population and adaptation of western culture with which comes their eating habits.

Applications of PPIs

  • Treating the ulcers in stomach and part of gut.
  • Reducing the acid reflux, because too much acid can lead to even heartburn.
  • A Germ Helicobacter pylori causes ulcers but can be removed by PPIs.
  • In Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome.

How do they work?

Stomach produces acid to help in digestion and kill the germs generally present in the stomach which come with food. Since the acid can corrode the lining of stomach, the stomach also produces a natural mucous protection to protect itself. Sometimes due to excess acid this barrier is damaged, and sometimes the sphincter at the top of stomach is not tightly closed. This causes the acid to reach the food pipe, causing heartburn and sometimes the inflammation in the food pipe.

PPIs can stop the power pump cells in the stomach from releasing too much acid. This can timely prevent ulcers or if they are there already can heal them slowly. They work by an inhibition system which prevents the production of acid.


PPIs can be bought by prescription only. Doctor must be consulted for the duration of taking the PPI. Sometimes the PPIs can be used for quick relief however for ulcers these have to be taken by the patient for a long time.