Educating Patients on the Use of OTC Proton Pump Inhibitors

Pharmacy Times Office of Continuing Professional Education

The Pharmacist’s Role in Patient Education on Safety and Efficacy Considerations in Over-the-Counter (OTC) Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Utilization

Brice Labruzzo Mohundro, PharmD

Assistant Professor, University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Pharmacy, Baton Rouge Campus, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Michael Marlan Mohundro, PharmD

Director of Pharmacy, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Heartburn affects approximately 110 million individuals in the United States, with equal prevalence between men and women. Self-treatment of heartburn is common and several OTC treatment alternatives exist, including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are an effective option for treating heartburn and other gastric acid-related disorders. Three PPIs that were once available only with a prescription can now be purchased over the counter to treat heartburn symptoms. The switching of these PPIs from prescription to OTC status, in addition to the emergence over the past few years of several safety concerns associated with PPI use, have impacted the pharmacist's role in the self-treatment of heartburn. This activity will review the mechanism of action of PPIs, safety concerns, and drug interactions, and will explore the role of the pharmacist in assuring the appropriate use of OTC PPIs.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the mechanism of action and efficacy of OTC PPIs in controlling gastric conditions such as heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and peptic ulcer disease.
  • Explain current safety concerns associated with potential drug—drug interactions and long-term use of PPIs
  • Assess and identify individuals appropriate for self-treatment with an OTC PPI.
  • Counsel and educate patients on the use of OTC PPIs.

Credits: 1.5

Expiration date: February 15, 2013

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