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Mayo Clinic

Proton pump inhibitors generally safe when used as directed

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I regularly have heartburn and my doctor is recommending I try a proton pump inhibitor. Can you tell me more about this medication? Are there any risks to taking it? ANSWER: Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the most effective medications for the treatment of chronic acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) and peptic ulcer. They work by blocking the production of stomach acid -- too much of which can cause a burning sensation in your chest or throat (heartburn) -- and by giving damaged tissue in your esophagus time to heal. Proton pump inhibitors come in prescription and nonprescription strengths. These medications are most commonly taken as a pill once a...