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Proton Pump Inhibitors Useful in Iron Overload Diseases

Study shows that treatment reduces phlebotomy requirements and absorption of non-heme iron

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hereditary hemochromatosis, treatment with proton pump inhibitors reduces phlebotomy requirements and absorption of non-heme iron from meals, suggesting that such therapy could complement phlebotomy in the management of iron-overload diseases, according to a report published in the September issue of Gut.

Adrian Bomford, M.D., of King's College Hospital in London, U.K., and colleagues assessed phlebotomy requirements in seven patients before (mean 6.1 years) and during (mean 3.8 years) the proton pump inhibitor treatment. They also conducted a post-prandial study of 14 phlebotomized patients with normal iron stores.

In the first group, the researchers found that the mean annual blood removal decreased significantly with proton pump inhibitor administration (from a mean of 2.5 liters to 0.5 liters). In the second group, they found that proton pump inhibitor administration for seven days significantly reduced the area under the serum curve, percent recovery of administered iron at peak serum iron, and peak serum iron.

"The pharmacological control of gastric acid secretion should be explored as a simple means of limiting iron overload in conditions such as thalassaemia intermedia and pyruvate kinase deficiency in which erythroid expansion can lead to a fivefold to 10-fold increase in iron absorption and a marked increase in tissue iron stores and in whom phlebotomy is not possible because of severe anemia," the authors write.

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