Enteric coatings prevent the release of medication before it reaches the small intestine. The enteric coated polymers remain unionized at low pH, and therefore remain insoluble. But as the pH increases in the GIT, the acidic functional groups are capable of ionization, and the polymer swells or becomes soluble in the intestinal fluid (above pH 5.5). Proton pump inhibitors reduce the production of acid in the stomach. This leaves little acid in the stomach juice so that if stomach juice backs up into the esophagus, it is less irritating. This allows the esophagus to heal. Proton pump inhibitors also work to help symptoms of GERD. Proton pump inhibitors act by irreversibly blocking the hydrogen/potassium adenosine triphosphatase enzyme system (the H+/K+ ATPase or more commonly, the gastric proton pump) of the gastric parietal cells. The proton pump is the terminal stage in gastric acid secretion, being directly responsible for secreting H+ ions into the gastric lumen, making it an ideal target for inhibiting acid secretion.
Keywords: enteric coating, gastric parietal cells, gastric lumen.
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