Systematic review: Patterns of proton pump inhibitor use and adherence in gastroesophageal reflux disease

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Feb;10(2):109-16. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2011.07.008. Epub 2011 Jul 23.


Background & aims: Variation in how proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are taken likely influences their clinical effectiveness, and must be considered when estimating PPI failure rates. This review aimed to systematically investigate the literature on patterns of PPI use in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Methods: PubMed and Embase were searched (1989-May 2010) to identify observational studies providing information on patterns of PPI use in patients with GERD.

Results: Of 902 studies identified, 13 met prespecified selection criteria. Across 2 database studies, 53.8%-67.7% of patients with GERD had a medication possession ratio (MPR) of >0.80. Across 2 more database studies, the mean MPR for the study population was 0.68 to 0.84. Across 3 surveys, 70%-84% of patients reported daily PPI use. In 2 surveys, the presence and severity of reflux symptoms increased PPI adherence, as did Barrett's esophagus in another 2 studies. Across 3 surveys, 11%-22.2% of patients reported twice daily PPI use, and across 6 studies 11.0%-44.8% of patients took GERD medication in addition to a PPI.

Conclusions: The results of this systematic review suggest that the majority of patients with GERD are relatively adherent to their PPI, although substantially different estimates were obtained using MPR data compared with surveys. Severe symptoms and the presence of Barrett's esophagus may increase PPI adherence, and other GERD medication is frequently taken in addition to a PPI. Limitations of studies in this area include inferring adherence from indirect MPR data, and recall bias associated with patient surveys.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors