Epidemiological Study Assessing the Overuse of Proton Pump Inhibitors in Lebanese Population

Mayssaa Hoteit, Elham Mattar, Racil Allaw, Antoine Abou Rached



 Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the most potent gastric agents for most acid-related disorders. Their effectiveness has led to their overutilization, leading to potential risks on patients and significant economic implications.

The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of PPI overuse in Lebanon. Hence, the economic impact of this overutilization, if proven to be present, can be inferred.



An epidemiological descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in pharmacies all around Lebanese governorates over a 1-year period, using questionnaires handed out to 1000 participants coming to buy PPIs. Subjects taking PPIs for inappropriate indications or in inappropriate dosages or durations were considered abusing PPIs. PPIs are indicated for multiple gastric disorders and for prophylaxis of gastrointestinal injury when taking gastro-toxic medications.


71.4% of subjects were overusing PPIs. Approximately 25 million US dollars were being wasted annually. Three categories of overuse were inferred (indication, dosage, and duration). Gastro protection was the most common reason for taking PPIs. Demographic variables and doctors’ prescriptions did not influence PPI overuse.


PPIs are massively overused in Lebanon, leading to a huge burden on the
health care system. Adhering to evidence-based guidelines and educational programs is highly recommended to enhance the quality and efficiency of prescriptions.


Protons pump inhibitors, Inappropriate prescribing, Patients, Risk, Pharmacies

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