Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit, the AAFP patient education website.

Information from Your Family Doctor

Side Effects of Proton Pump Inhibitors


Am Fam Physician. 2012 Jul 1;86(1):online.

  See related article on proton pump inhibitors.

What are proton pump inhibitors?

Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, are medicines used to treat acid reflux and stomach ulcers.

What side effects can they cause?

Using PPIs for too long can lead to side effects, such as:

  • Hip fracture

  • Pneumonia

  • Diarrhea from an infection

  • Rebound indigestion (worsened symptoms after you stop using PPIs)

Talk to your doctor about how long you should take a PPI, especially if it was first prescribed in the hospital or by another doctor.

Can I take other medicines if I am taking a PPI?

PPIs can affect how other medicines work. These medicines include clopidogrel (brand name: Plavix), which prevents blood clots, and iron supplements. Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking these medicines.

Are there other ways to treat my symptoms?

There are over-the-counter medicines you can take for acid reflux or stomach ulcers. They are called H2 blockers (examples: Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac). Talk to your doctor about whether they can help your symptoms.

Other ways to treat reflux symptoms include changing your diet. You should avoid alcohol, peppermint, caffeine, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (one brand: Motrin). Also, do not smoke, exercise a lot after eating, or eat right before bedtime.

This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other health-related information is available from the AAFP online at

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.


Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Sep 2021

Access the latest issue of American Family Physician

Read the Issue

Email Alerts

Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

Sign Up Now

Navigate this Article