Hard to swallow: Problems with long-term use of proton pump inhibitors

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Hard to swallow: Problems with long-term use of proton pump inhibitors

Carmen Pope

 Woman stomach pain
Symptoms of indigestion and heartburn can be caused by more serious conditions, such as gastric ulcers and gastric cancer [Image: iStock.com – Tharakorn]

Mr Liu has been a regular customer of yours for several years, but lately he has been popping in every couple of weeks or so for omeprazole 20mg capsules over the counter. You ask him how they are working for him, and he tells you that they seem to work quite well, especially when he takes two, and as long as he takes them every day. He says it has been a year since he last saw a doctor

People could use omeprazole to relieve and ignore symptoms that actually need further investigation by a doctor Omeprazole has been available for

1. Bayer HealthCare. Proposal for Reclassification of Losec® Tablets Omeprazole 10 mg to Pharmacy Medicine. July 2010. https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/class/Agendas/agen44-2-Omeprazole-Submission-Publication.pdf

2. New Zealand Formulary. 1.3.5 omeprazole. NZF v118; 1 April 2022. https://nzf.org.nz/nzf_771

3. New Zealand Formulary. 1.1 Dyspepsia and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. NZF v118; 1 April 2022. https://nzf.org.nz/nzf_653

4. Sri Selvaratnam. Gastroenterology Cases. GLMS Symposium, 13 February 2021. https://glms.co.nz/fileup/files/Symposium%202021%20-%20Gastroenterology%20Cases%20-%20Sri%20Selvaratnam.pdf

5. Fookes C (Tech Ed). Indigestion, Heartburn and Gastritis. Healthcare Handbook 2021–2022. Auckland, NZ: The Health Media Ltd; 2021.

6. Healthline. Can Store-Bought Baking Soda Really Treat Acid Reflux? https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/baking-soda