Discontinuation of proton pump inhibitors in patients on long-term therapy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial


Dr. E. Björnsson, Department of Internal Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, SE-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.
E-mail: einar.bjornsson@medic.gu.se




The proportion of proton pump inhibitor users on long-term therapy who can discontinue proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication without developing symptoms is unknown.


To determine the proportion of patients on long-term PPI therapy who are able to discontinue PPIs without developing symptoms.


Patients on long-term PPIs, without a history of peptic ulcer or esophagitis underwent upper endoscopy. Patients were randomized double-blindly to taper down or continue a constant dosage of omeprazole for three weeks. Thereafter, all patients discontinued PPIs.


Of the 97 patients enrolled, had used PPIs for 48 months, 78% had GERD. A total of 27% did not use PPIs during the year after discontinuation, 31% of the patients randomized to tapering discontinued PPIs and 22% of those who did not could discontinue therapy (NS). Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patients were more prone to continue PPIs than non-GERD patients. Only 16 (21%) of GERD patients were off PPIs vs. 48% of patients without GERD (p < 0.05). Serum gastrin was higher at baseline in GERD patients who resumed PPIs versus non-resumers (p < 0.05). GERD and serum gastrin were independent predictors of PPI requirement.


Discontinuation of PPI was successful in 27% of long-term PPI users. GERD patients had more difficulty discontinuing PPIs than non-GERD patients.