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Considerations for the Use of Proton-Pump Inhibitors in Older Adults

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate current concerns regarding the use of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) in older adults.

DATA SOURCES: A literature search was conducted in MEDLINE (1948 to April week 3 2011) to identify relevant publications. Key words searched included proton-pump inhibitor, safety, adverse events, elderly, and older adults. Additional data sources were obtained through a bibliographic review of selected articles.

DATA SELECTION: Relevant studies conducted in older adults published in English that examined risks associated with the use of PPIs were included in this review.

DATA SYNTHESIS: The older adult population in the United States is growing at an astounding rate. With the increase in age, there are many factors that make the elderly susceptible to acid-related gastrointestinal disorders that require treatment with PPIs. However, PPI use in the elderly has been shown to lead to a number of health concerns. Recent data have shown that PPI use is associated with an increased risk of fractures, Clostridium difficile infection, community-acquired pneumonia, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and drug interactions. These concerns will be further investigated and weighed against the benefits of PPI use in this population.

CONCLUSIONS: Patient-specific characteristics must be taken into consideration when recommending and/or prescribing PPIs to older adults.

Keywords: Adverse events; Elderly; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Older adults; Proton-pump inhibitors; Safety

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-02-01

More about this publication?
  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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