Best Medications For Gerd In 2020
This Article is Written and/or Reviewed by RefluxMD Medical Authors Team and Reviewers
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, better known by its acronym, GERD, is a digestive issue that occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus, the tube connecting your mouth to your stomach. When the lower esophageal sphincter , a valve between the stomach and esophagus, is unable to close properly, stomach fluids can reach the esophagus and create significant pain. More importantly, acid reflux can begin to change the cellular structure of the membrane on the esophagus and result in several serious conditions, including esophageal cancer, or adenocarcinoma.
Due to the different varieties of seriousness with this issue, there are many ways to treat and manage the disease, with solutions ranging from over-the-counter pharmaceutical products to others that are prescription based. Here well outline the different levels of GERD and which medication suits that specific intensity.
The Best Heartburn Medicine To Use For Acid Reflux
- Lauren Stuttaford
Most people have experienced acid reflux or heartburn at least once likely after a large meal. But what is the best heartburn medicine? There are three primary types for acid reflux and heartburn: antacid medication, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors . All of these work differently and either aim to prevent acid reflux or to provide quick relief. If you suffer from acid reflux and want to find out which are the safest acid reflux medicines, heres everything you should know about the best treatments.
Why Is Ranitidine Not Safer
· It needs to be prescribed in a high dose, i.e., 150mg twice a day for a year. Ranitidine can affect vital organs of the patients such as injury to the liver. It can cause severe complications to the heart, liver, and kidneys.
· Ranitidine is used primarily used as an antihistamine, which means it is used to treat allergic reactions whereas, using it as an antacid is its secondary use.
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How Can I Get Rid Of Heartburn
Fortunately, there are many effective treatment options available for people who experience heartburn. Many people find relief with both prescription and over-the-counter medication, a few lifestyle changes, as well as with some natural and home remedies.
Popular over-the-counter medications for heartburn include antacids, like Tums or Rolaids, that work to neutralize stomach acid and acid indigestion. Some people prefer acid blockers, which reduce the actual amount of stomach acid produced. These include Axid AR, Pepcid AC, Prilosec OTC, and Tagamet HB.
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If your heartburn is more regular or severe however, and over-the-counter options arent effective, you may require prescription medication. These are usually stronger versions of the over-the-counter brand options, as well as proton pump inhibitor drugs including Prevacid and Nexium.
One lifestyle change that many people report as effective for reducing their indigestion and heartburn is to practice only eating until full.
Its also a good idea to get to know what foods trigger your heartburn and avoid them when possible. Foods that are known to trigger heartburn include coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, spicy foods, tomatoes, chocolate, peppermint, onions, and any high-fat foods.
It can also help to avoid laying down for a while after eating your meal and instead choosing to go for a walk. This aids digestion and helps gravity to work in your favor.
So Which Works Best For Heartburn
All of these over-the-counter medicines, to a varying degree, can relieve the symptoms of heartburn. If you have more severe heartburn symptoms that these medications don’t relieve, or if you’ve been using these medicines for more than 2 weeks, call your doctor. You may need a stronger prescription medicine and tests to see what’s causing your symptoms.
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Heartburn Relief With Over The Counter Medicine
When it comes to heartburn relief, antacids are the most popular and least expensive choice. These products neutralize the acid in your stomach to help with a sour stomach, indigestion, and other unpleasant feelings that are associated with heartburn. Some antacids also contain an ingredient to help rid the body of excess gas. Be aware that certain products may also contain ingredients that could cause diarrhea, like magnesium. Others could contain aluminum which can cause constipation. Antacids typically come in the form of a tablet or liquid. Take them according to the directions on the package and chew tablets thoroughly before swallowing to get faster relief.
How Should This Medicine Be Used
Prescription omeprazole comes as a delayed-release capsule, and packets of delayed-release granules for suspension to take by mouth or give through a feeding tube. Nonprescription omeprazole comes as a delayed-release tablet to take by mouth. Prescription omeprazole should be taken at least 1 hour before a meal. Prescription omeprazoleis usually taken once a day before a meal but may be taken twice a day when used with other medications to eliminate H. pylori, or up to three times a day, before meals when used to treat conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid. The nonprescription delayed-release tablets are usually taken once a day in the morning at least 1 hour before eating for 14 days in a row. If needed, additional 14-day treatments may be repeated, not more often than once every 4 months. To help you remember to take omeprazole, take it at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label or the package label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take omeprazole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often or for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor or stated on the package.
If you are taking the delayed-release tablets, swallow them whole with a full glass of water. Do not split, chew, or crush them or crush and mix them into food.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
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Over The Counter Acid Reflux Medication
Over-the-counter acid reflux are types of medicines that can treat and help reduce heartburn symptoms, known as antacid, oral suspension medicines, H-2 Receptor Blockers and proton pump inhibtors .
Acid reflux antacid begins with heartburn, a sore throat or nausea. It is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease. It destroys tissue due to the stomach acid piling up into the esophagus, and causing pain. If you experience chest pain or heartburn more than two times in a week, you may have acid reflux disease.
Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Prescription omeprazole is used alone or with other medications to treat the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease , a condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and possible injury of the esophagus in adults and children 1 year of age and older. Prescription omeprazole is used to treat damage from GERD in adults and children 1 month of age and older. Prescription omeprazole is used to allow the esophagus to heal and prevent further damage to the esophagus in adults and children 1 year of age and older with GERD. Prescription omeprazole is also used to treat conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome in adults. Prescription omeprazole is also used to treat ulcers and it is also used with other medications to treat and prevent the return of ulcers caused by a certain type of bacteria in adults. Nonprescription omeprazole is used to treat frequent heartburn in adults. Omeprazole is in a class of medications called proton-pump inhibitors. It works by decreasing the amount of acid made in the stomach.
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Medical Resources Used In This Article
- Acid suppression therapy and allergic reactions, by Eva Untersmayr, MD Ph.D., Allergo International 2015, National Institute of Health,
- Anaphylactic shock due to omeprazole, by doctors Centro de Salud Delicias Sur, Centro de Salud Gallur, and Servicio de Alergología Elsevier España,
- Heartburn Drugs Might Bring Allergy Woes, By Serena Gordon, WebMD,
- Role of Stomach Acid in Digestion, by Lindsay Boyers, San Francisco Chronicle, SFGATE,
- 25 Years of Proton Pump Inhibitors: A Comprehensive Review, by Dr. Daniel S. Strand MD, Dr. Daejin Kim MD, and Dr. David A. Peura MD, National Institute of Health,
- Time to halt the overprescribing of proton pump inhibitors, by Dr. Daniel Marks MB BS BSc Ph.D. MRCP, The Pharmaceutical Journal of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society,
- Was this article Helpful ?
How Common Is Heartburn And Gerd
Heartburn, due to acid reflux or GERD, affects one in four people on a regular basis. At least one in ten adults experience heartburn every day, and 40% have heartburn at least once a month.
Men are twice as likely as women to report sleep disturbances every night due to heartburn, and in surveys, almost one in five say theyve needed to take time off work as a result of heartburn. Four out of five people avoid foods they enjoy for fear of developing symptoms.
Heartburn becomes increasingly common with age, as the muscles that usually close the entrance to the stomach, and downward movements of muscles in the oesophagus which normally prevent reflux, naturally weaken.
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When To See The Doctor
Let your doctor know how the OTC medicines work for you. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, the doctor may suggest a prescription medicine. If possible, try not to take PPIs long-term. These can increase your risk of certain health conditions, such as osteoporosis, kidney disease, and dementia.
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms. They may be signs of a more serious problem.
- Bloody or black stools.
- Heartburn that has not improved after 2 weeks of treatment with OTC medicines.
- Trouble swallowing or pain when you swallow.
- Unplanned weight loss.
If you have chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and pain in your arms, you may be having a heart attack. Call 911 or go to the emergency room right away.
List Of The Best Antacid Tablets Without Prescription
When you are suffering from heartburn the first thing that will come to your mind is finding thebest antacid tablets. They are the most commonly used medicine that is used for reducing this discomfort and relief you from the symptoms in seconds.
Antacids are not only available as chewable tablets but also as liquid and both of them are quite effective for treating the issue. They have become quite popular now as you can get them without prescriptions and even thus are relatively cheaper.
Antacids have become so popular for treating heartburn and indigestion because the moment they reach your stomach they start its action. Antacid will work for more time if it stays in your stomach for longer period. Thus, it is always advised to take antacid after you have eaten something.
Here are some of the best antacid tablets that will relieve your heartburn and free you from indigestion.
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Ease Off The Drugs Gradually
Quitting heartburn drugs can be difficult because you might get rebound symptoms. They cause your stomach to produce less acid, and stopping suddenly can cause it to overproduce acid. If youre taking a PPI or H2 blocker once a day, ask your doctor about cutting back, perhaps to every other day, and then every few days.
For more detailed information on drugs to treat heartburn, GERD and acid reflux, see our free Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs Report on these medications.
Types Of Otc Heartburn Medicines
There was a time when the most common OTC remedies for heartburn were either chalky antacids or medicinal effervescent tablets. Anything stronger was usually very expensive, available only by prescription, and reserved for those who were diagnosed with bleeding ulcers or other serious digestion-related conditions.
In the 1980s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration started approving OTC versions of several of these medications. Here are the three most popular types available without prescription:
Acid neutralizers use chemical bases, such as calcium carbonate, to reduce the stomachs acidity level. When a base interacts with an acid, the pH level moves closer to neutral, thus reducing the effects of stomach acid on the esophagus. Antacids provide almost immediate relief because they interact directly with stomach acids, unlike the medicines described below, which must first enter the bloodstream. The soothing effects of antacids can be short-lived, however. Common antacids include Tums, Rolaids, and Alka-Seltzer.
Proton pump inhibitor
Histamine 2 receptor antagonist
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Get Help For Your Acid Reflux Today
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Schedule a virtual visit with one of EMD’s reputable doctors & get a personalized treatment plan that works.
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Soothe Indigestion And Bloating With Over
Sarah is a freelance writer with a focus on health and wellness. She has written for publications like Women’s Health, Healthline, and Parents. She taught creative writing for five years, and has a bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University.
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When heartburn or acid indigestion strikes, you need something that settles your stomach ASAP. Its no fun to walk around feeling like you have your own personal fire-breathing dragon raging in your esophagus, and its even less fun to battle the burn while trying to work, exercise, drive through rush hour traffic, or sleep.
If youre prone to bouts of GI distress, its smart to have a reliable over-the-counter antacid on hand that can provide quick relief. Why? Because these medications can decrease the amount of stomach acid you produce, says University of Missouri Health Care gastroenterologist Yezaz Ghouri, MD.
The stomach normally produces hydrochloric acid to help digest food and kill bacteria or other organisms that may have been ingested along with the food, Dr. Ghouri explains. When there is an overproduction of the acid, it can lead to stomach discomfort.
Treatment Approaches For Gerd At Johns Hopkins
There are four approaches for GERD treatment, including medication and surgery. Often, patients respond well to a combination of lifestyle changes and a medication regimen.
Some patients do not find satisfactory relief from those methods and require surgical intervention. Other patients may choose surgery as an alternative to a lifetime of taking medication.
Treatment for GERD includes:
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Heartburn Medicine Factors To Consider
When shopping for a new heartburn medicine, there are a number of important factors to consider. Some consumers might only need short-term relief from occasionally eating trigger foods. Others might need a longer-term treatment for chronic acid reflux, GERD, or a sensitive stomach. It isnt unusual to experiment with different types of heartburn medicines in order to find the one that brings the most reliable relief. Here are some important factors to consider while looking:
Relief onset time: While traditional antacid brands offer relief in seconds or minutes, H2RAs and PPIs generally take hours or even days. This delay isnt necessarily a bad thing since these medicines provide longer-term relief. When comparing H2RAs and PPIs, keep in mind that H2RAs usually have a faster onset time, but the effects of PPIs last longer. If faster relief of an occasional bout of heartburn is the goal, try an H2RA first. For more frequent acid reflux, a PPI might be more appropriate.
Mechanism: Different types of heartburn medicine use different mechanisms to address the same basic problem. Antacids chemically neutralize stomach acids but dont affect acid production. H2RAs enter the bloodstream and block acid production. PPIs actually shut down acid production. Consumers should consider the severity and frequency of their heartburn symptoms and shop accordingly.
Causes And Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is where hydrochloric acid from the stomach flows upwards into the esophagus. Unlike the lining of the stomach, the esophagus has no protection from the acid and a burning sensation often occurs.
Common causes of acid reflux are:
- Stomach abnormalities
- Regurgitation of acid or partially digested food
- A constant feeling of having a lump in the throat
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What Causes Heartburn
Heartburn is caused by acid juices refluxing up into the gullet, or oesophagus, from the stomach. Known medically as gastroesophageal reflux disease , this causes a hot, burning sensation behind the chest bone, which may spread up towards the throat. Some cases of heartburn are so severe they resemble a heart attack. If you experience chest pain that worries you, seek medical help without delay as it is not always easy for doctors to tell the two apart without specific tests.
In contrast, some people have so-called silent reflux, in which they dont experience burning pain, but may have unexplained hoarseness, vocal fatigue, voice breaks, coughing, a sensation of a lump in the throat, or repeated swallowing or throat clearing.