How do proton pump inhibitors work?
By Jane Shiyen Chou for Live Right Live Well
Proton pumps are tiny enzymes in the cells of your stomach lining that play a crucial role in producing stomach acid. Proton pump inhibitors work by “binding to the proton pump and knocking it out so it can’t function,” explains pharmacist Rosemary R. Berardi, who holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is a professor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. The result is a “profound effect on decreasing stomach acid,” says Berardi. Examples of common proton pump inhibitors include dexlansoprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole and rabeprazole.
inhibitors are different from antacids (e.g., calcium carbonate), which simply
neutralize acid that’s already in your stomach, and H2 blockers (e.g.,
cimetidine, ranitidine, etc.), which block one of three triggers that cause
proton pumps to secrete acid. Unlike these other drugs, proton pump inhibitors
affect the proton pumps themselves, interfering with their ability to produce
acid in the first place, no matter which triggers are activated. The best news:
Proton pump inhibitors work for “close to 24 hours,” says Berardi. So for most
chronic heartburn sufferers, this means a single dose before breakfast can
provide relief for the rest of the day.
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