One for the PPI team

While this blog in previous posts has pointed out some shortcomings of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), at the same time this class of medications remains a crucial part of pediatric gastroenterology practice.  In most patients, the benefits of these medications far outweigh the potential risks.

One of the risks has been a low rate of increased infections due to lowering gastric acid which provides some protection against enteric infections.  More information about PPIs show that these medications are not likely to increase the risk of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) (Am J Gastroenterol 2012; 107: 730-35 –thanks to Ben Gold for showing me this article).

In this retrospective study from 2004-2010, 1191 patients were included with 566 receiving PPI therapy.  Mean age: 63 years for PPI users and 59 years for nonusers. Glucose breath hydrogen testing (GBHT) for bacterial overgrowth did not differ significantly between PPI users and nonusers.  The authors acknowledge that there have been conflicting reports previously between the use of PPIs and the development of SIBO (see Table 5 of article); interestingly, SIBO with PPIs has occurred predominantly in studies from Europe.  The authors note that while achlorhydria leads to SIBO, the intermittent surges of acid production with PPIs should be sufficient to prevent SIBO.

Additional references/previous blog posts:

  • Proton pump inhibitors–infection risk with cirrhosis
  • The Medical Pendulum and Gastroesophageal Reflux
  • -Gastroenterol Hepatol 2011; 7: 10-2.  Risk of infections with PPIs.
  • -Gut 2007; 56: 802-8.  SIBO with IBS.
  • -NEJM 2010; 363: 2114. large Denmark study. 5082 fetuses with PPI exposure (out of 840,968 live births. Risk of birth defects NOT increased with exposure during 1st trimester. Possible slight increase with preconception use except with omeprazole.
  • -Gastroenterol 2010; 139: 1115. Review of safety of PPIs.
  • -Gastroenterol 2010; 139: 93. n=167,000. PPIs associated with hip fracture risk, OR 1.3, in patients with other risk factors.
  • -Gastroenterol 2010; 138: 896-904. 5 yrs of PPI -no increase risk in hip/spine fx.
  • -Arch Intern Med 2010; 170: 765-71, 747 (ed). PPI not related to hip fx (n=161,806) women 50-79. INCREASE risk of spine fx, hazard risk 1.47
  • -Arch Intern Med 2010; 170: 772-8. PPIs increase risk of CDT (hazard ratio 1.42 –42% increase in risk), n=1166.
  • -Arch Intern Med 2010; 170: 784-90. n=101,796.  Risk of nosocomial infection: OR 1.74 for daily PPI, OR 2.36 if BID Rx; thus ~70% increase risk of nosocomial infection.