What is known and objective: Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) prescribing may often be inappropriate and expose patients to a risk of adverse effects, while incurring unnecessary healthcare expenditure. Our objective was to determine PPI usage in Australia since 2002 and review international studies investigating inappropriate PPI prescribing, including those that discussed interventions to address this issue. Methods: Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) data were analysed. A narrative literature review relevant to the objective was conducted. Time series analysis was also used to examine the trend of reported PPI appropriate use across the international studies included in this review. Results and discussion: Proton pump inhibitor use in Australia increased between 2002 and 2010 and then gradually decreased. Estimates of the extent of inappropriate use in the international literature had a wide variation (11-84%). There appeared to be little change in the extent of appropriate PPI use reported through 34 international studies from 2000 to 2016. Interventions to address inappropriate use included patient-centred deprescribing, academic detailing, educational programmes and drug safety notifications. What is new and Conclusion: Proton pump inhibitors continue to be overused worldwide and should be a focus for deprescribing programmes. Ongoing education and awareness campaigns for health professionals and patients, including electronic reminders at the point of prescribing, are strategies that have potential to reduce PPI use in individuals who do not have an evidence-based clinical indication for their long-term use.