Dr. Lukaczer’s Toolkit Item of the Month: Tapering off of PPIs

Dan Lukaczer, ND

In the just completed GI Advanced Practice Module (APM), gastroenterologist Dr. Gerry Mullin did an excellent job of discussing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and the pervasive use of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs). We all have patients who are on these ‘purple pills.’ Many of them try unsuccessfully to stop them. Dr. Mullin thoroughly walked us through the pathophysiology of GERD and PPIs as well as the process of how he slowly but successfully weans his patients off these medications. We have created two handouts from this presentation: the first is for the clinician and discusses GERD, factors to consider before tapering, and then tapering instructions. The second handout lists instructions for the patient, specifically on tapering and supplements. This helps you direct the patient on the length of taper, and they can also check off the specific supplements that you recommend they take in the process. I’ve started using this guide in my clinic and find it an efficient way to help patients taper off these medications.

To access the IFM Clinical Practice Toolkit, log in to your account, select My Education from the left-hand side, then click on the IFM Toolkit tile. To find these toolkit documents, search for “Proton-Pump Inhibitors” within the toolkit.