Iron-deficiency anemia caused by a proton pump inhibitor

Intern Med. 2014;53(20):2297-9. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.53.2743. Epub 2014 Oct 15.


A 59-year-old man was orally administered rabeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), for gastroesophageal reflux disease, after which he gradually developed iron-deficiency anemia. The anemia did not improve following the administration of ferrous fumarate, and endoscopic screening of the entire gastrointestinal tract, including the small intestine, did not reveal any findings indicating the cause of the anemia. The patient was then switched from rabeprazole to famotidine and the anemia was cured within three months. There is much debate as to whether the long-term use of PPIs causes iron-deficiency. However, this case strongly suggests that PPIs can induce iron-deficiency anemia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / chemically induced*
  • Famotidine / therapeutic use
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Rabeprazole / adverse effects*


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Rabeprazole
  • Famotidine