Long-term safety of proton pump inhibitors: risks of gastric neoplasia and infections

Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2002 May;1(1):29-38. doi: 10.1517/14740338.1.1.29.


After Helicobacter pylori eradication was introduced and largely eliminated the need for maintenance therapy for peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) became the main indication for prolonged gastric acid inhibition. The drug effect on GERD depends on the degree of acid inhibition, thus the efficacious proton pump inhibitors are preferred. The proton pump inhibitors have few immediate side effects, the main concern being the profound hypoacidity and hypergastrinaemia they induce. In short-term, hypergastrinaemia causes rebound hyperacidity, possibly worsening GERD and reducing the efficacy of histamine H(2) blockers. In the long-term, hypergastrinaemia causes enterochromaffin-like cell hyperplasia and carcinoids. Since enterochromaffin-like cells may be important in gastric carcinogenesis, iatrogenic hypergastrinaemia may predispose to carcinoma. Gastric hypoacidity also increases gut bacterial infections, and the barrier function of acid against viral and prion infections requires further assessment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Duodenal Ulcer / etiology*
  • Enterochromaffin-like Cells* / drug effects
  • Enterochromaffin-like Cells* / physiology
  • Gastric Acid / metabolism*
  • Gastritis* / complications
  • Gastritis* / etiology
  • Gastritis* / prevention & control
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / etiology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors*
  • Rats
  • Stomach Neoplasms / etiology*


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors