Progress with proton pump inhibition.
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The proton pump, a H+/K(+)-ATPase located on the secretory canalicular membrane of the parietal cell, forms the final pathway for gastric acid secretion. Omeprazole is concentrated in the secretory canaliculus, where it is converted to its active form, which binds covalently with the H+/K(+)-ATPase, thus inhibiting acid secretion arising from any stimulus. Meta-analysis has defined the primary determinants for peptic ulcer healing as the degree of acid suppression, the duration of suppression over 24 hours, and the length of treatment. The longer duration of acid suppression with omeprazole, particularly during the day, when food is ingested and H2-receptor antagonists are less effective, is reflected in the clinical superiority for symptom relief and ulcer healing and especially for the treatment of erosive esophagitis. Extensive clinical experience has proved omeprazole to be safe, and concerns over hypergastrinemia, ECL-cell hyperplasia, and carcinoid formation have not been substantiated in humans. Recent evidence has shown that omeprazole suppresses Helicobacter pylori and, in combination with antibiotics, can eradicate this organism in a substantial proportion of patients. This effect may result from enhancement of antibiotic bioavailability and optimizing host defense mechanisms.
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