Which Medicine Is The Safest
In general, medications for acid reflux and GERD are safe for most people. But all medications have side effects and no medicine is 100 percent safe for everyone. Some medicines have fewer and milder side effects.
According to Alexander, patients should always ask their provider if they have questions about safety. Providers will help patients decide which medications are the safest and most effective for them.
In some cases, there are many people taking these medicines that dont even need them. For some people, the medicine could be discontinued outright, but these judgements should be made in consultation with a health care provider. And then other instances, people may elect either to stay on their medicine aware of the risks or switch to an alternative medicine, he said.
Antacids For Treating Heartburn
- aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate
- aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide
- calcium carbonate
- calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide
Potential side effects of single active ingredient antacids include and diarrhea. The AAFP advises using an antacid that contains both aluminum and magnesium to counteract the potential side effects of antacids containing a single active ingredient.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Gerd
Often, people who have GERD notice that they regularly have the pain of heartburn in the chest or stomach. This can last up to a couple of hours. Many notice their heartburn is worse after eating.
Regurgitation when food and liquid containing stomach acid comes back up into the throat or mouth is also a sign of GERD. But, like heartburn, occasional regurgitation is common for everyone.
Other symptoms of GERD include:
- a sore, raw throat or hoarse voice
- a frequent sour taste of acid, especially when lying down
- a feeling of burping acid into the mouth
- trouble swallowing
- bad breath
Read Also: What Do I Do If I Have Heartburn
What Causes Acid Reflux Disease
One common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. This occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm, a muscle that separates your stomach from your chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our stomach. But if you have a hiatal hernia, acid can move up into your esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux disease.
These are other common risk factors for acid reflux disease:
- Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal
What Causes Acid Reflux And Whom Does It Affect
The circular band of muscle at the bottom of the gullet normally prevents acid leaking up . Problems occur if the sphincter does not work very well. This is common but in most cases it is not known why it does not work so well. In some cases the pressure in the stomach rises higher than the sphincter can withstand – for example, during pregnancy, after a large meal, or when bending forward. If you have a hiatus hernia , you have an increased chance of developing reflux. See the separate leaflet called Hiatus Hernia for more details.
Most people have heartburn at some time, perhaps after a large meal. However, about 1 adult in 3 has some heartburn every few days, and nearly 1 adult in 10 has heartburn at least once a day. In many cases it is mild and soon passes. However, it is quite common for symptoms to be frequent or severe enough to affect quality of life. Regular heartburn is more common in smokers, pregnant women, heavy drinkers, those who are overweight and those aged between 35 and 64 years.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Heartburn And Gas
A Few Lifestyle Changes Are Worth Trying Before Resorting To Drugs For Controlling Gastroesophageal Reflux
If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if you’ve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. That’s the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest.
Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.
List Of Prescription Drugs Used For Heartburn Treatment
Heartburn is a painful burning sensation experienced in the upper stomach or chest area due to the reflux of stomach acid in the esophagus.
The reflux is triggered usually by poor diet and lifestyle which causes the lower oesophageal sphincter to relax and give way to flow the acid backward.
Though heartburn is a relatively common disorder and can be treated with simpler drugs, its negligence can lead to the development of a more severe and chronic condition called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease .
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Heartburn At Home
Causes Of Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There’s often no obvious reason why.
Sometimes it’s caused or made worse by:
- certain food and drink such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
- being overweight
- some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
- a hiatus hernia when part of your stomach moves up into your chest
Acid Reflux Medicine: The Side Effects And Alternatives
Recent research in the British Medical Journal examines how extended use of acid reflux medicines could lead to a higher incidence of serious diseases.
Heartburn is a widespread symptom that is usually associated with acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease .
The main difference between having acid reflux and suffering from GERD is that heartburn is a temporary and transient symptom while acid reflux / GERD can become chronic, affecting patients for an extended period of time and potentially developing various complications when not treated.
The most common diagnosis in patients with gastrointestinal problems is that it can lead to esophageal ulcers, a progressive change in the esophagus lining known as Barretts esophagus, and ultimately may trigger esophageal cancer.
You should treat GERD symptoms, not only to feel better but to avoid serious long-term consequences as well. All doctors should be aware of the side effects associated with the drugs they use to treat a given condition. But, do you know the side effects of acid reflux medicines?
In this article, we will break down the drugs commonly used to treat GERD and acid reflux in 4 different groups and discuss their adverse effects and interactions so you will have enough information and will be able to ask your doctor about your treatment if you ever experience any of these side effects.
Don’t Miss: What Can Cause Frequent Heartburn
Prilosec Otc Frequent Heartburn Medicine And Acid Reflux Reducer Tablets 42
- The first and original over-the-counter frequent heartburn medicine.
- Recommended frequent heartburn treatment for 13 straight years.
- #1 doctor, gastroenterologist.
- Directions: for adults 18 years of age and older, these lansoprazole capsules are to be taken once a day , every day for 14 days.
- Acid reducer: when taken as directed, basic care lansoprazole delayed release capsules, 15 mg reduce heartburn by deactivating acid-producing pumps in the stomach lining to inhibit acid production at the source..
- Sodium free: basic care lansoprazole delayed release capsules, 15 mg is a sodium free heartburn treatment.
- Heartburn treatment: this delayed-release heartburn medicine is clinically proven to treat frequent heartburn.
- Active ingredient: this product contains lansoprazole 15 mg, an acid reducer, which compares to the active ingredient in prevacid 24 hr..
What Are The Common Signs Of Gerd
The most common sign is heartburn. Heartburn is a pain in the middle of your chest. The pain from heartburn can be very strong. Sometimes the pain can be so strong that you think youre having a heart attack.
GERD can cause other signs, too. You can even have GERD without having heartburn.
Sometimes GERD can cause problems in your throat. It can make you feel like you have a lump in your throat or like you always have to clear your throat. It can also cause hoarseness. You might be more hoarse when you first get up in the morning.
GERD can give you a burning feeling in your mouth. It can cause you to have a sore throat or to have trouble swallowing. You may feel like food is sticking in your throat. GERD may also make you feel like youre choking or that your throat is tight. A dry cough is another sign. GERD can also cause bad breath. It can even cause pain in your ears.
If you have any of these signs, you may have GERD. Be sure to tell your doctor about any of these signs.
Dont Miss: Is Heartburn A Side Effect Of Birth Control
Don’t Miss: Why Am I Getting Heartburn At Night
Types Of Prescription Drugs Used For Heartburn Treatment
There are a number of drugs prescribed by the doctors to treat heartburn. The chemical composition for them is generally common in most of them, what differs is their label which is different according to the brand.
Most common prescription drugs fall into two types namely histamine type 2 receptor blockers/antagonists, proton pump inhibitors and pro-motility agents.
What Do I Do If I Think I Have Gerd
With GERD when reflux and heartburn happen more than once in a while the tissue lining your esophagus is getting battered regularly with stomach acid. Eventually the tissue becomes damaged. If you have this chronic acid reflux and heartburn you can see its affecting your daily eating and sleeping habits.
When GERD makes your daily life uncomfortable in this way, call your healthcare provider. Although GERD isnt life-threatening in itself, its chronic inflammation of the esophagus can lead to something more serious. You may need stronger prescription medications or even surgery to ease your symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Home Remedy To Stop Heartburn Immediately
Which Otc Works Best For Heartburn
The severity of your GERD symptoms will help to indicate which OTC treatment is best for you.
Antacids are typically the first-choice treatment for relieving mild heartburn. By neutralizing the acid in your stomach, these drugs can provide relief of the immediate effects of heartburn.
H2 blockers and PPIs reduce the amount of stomach acid your body produces, so theyre more helpful if youre experiencing heartburn frequently.
These drugs take longer to start working but can prevent heartburn for
Antacids For Quick Relief
H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors work better than antacids, but if you need something for very quick relief, antacids are an option. Antacids dont do anything to prevent GERD, but they can be used on demand for symptom relief. They are cheap and available over the counter.
Common antacids contain and/or magnesium , and provide relief of heartburn within 5 minutes. However, they only work temporarily for 30 to 60 minutes tops.
Side effects of antacids are mild and include constipation, nausea, and diarrhea. Dont overuse them: Some brands contain calcium, and too much calcium can lead to kidney stones.
If your symptoms continue for more than 2 weeks with an antacid, you may need a stronger medication.
Recommended Reading: What Do You Do If You Have Heartburn
Promotility Agents For Heartburn And Reflux
Promotility agents work by stimulating the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, which may help prevent acids from staying in the stomach too long, and strengthening the lower esophageal sphincter, reducing reflux into the esophagus. Metoclopramide is a promotility agent occasionally used to treat heartburn associated with GERD. The side effects of Reglan can be serious and may include drowsiness, fatigue, diarrhea, restlessness, and movement problems.
How To Use Famotidine Vial
This medication is injected into a vein as directed by your doctor. The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, dosage may also be based on body weight.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Also Check: How To Prevent Heartburn Naturally
What Is A Reasonable Approach To The Management Of Gerd
There are several ways to approach the evaluation and management of GERD. The approach depends primarily on the frequency and severity of symptoms, the adequacy of the response to treatment, and the presence of complications.
For infrequent heartburn, the most common symptom of GERD, life-style changes and an occasional antacid may be all that is necessary. If heartburn is frequent, daily non-prescription-strength H2 antagonists may be adequate. A foam barrier also can be used with the antacid or H2 antagonist.
If life-style changes and antacids, non-prescription H2 antagonists, and a foam barrier do not adequately relieve heartburn, it is time to see a physician for further evaluation and to consider prescription-strength drugs. The evaluation by the physician should include an assessment for possible complications of GERD based on the presence of such symptoms or findings as:
- unexplained lung infections, or
- anemia .
Clues to the presence of diseases that may mimic GERD, such as gastric or duodenal ulcers and esophageal motility disorders, should be sought.
If at the time of evaluation, there are symptoms or signs that suggest complicated GERD or a disease other than GERD or if the relief of symptoms with H2 antagonists or PPIs is not satisfactory, a further evaluation by endoscopy definitely should be done.
Acid Reducers For Heartburn
There are two types of drugs that cut down on the production of acid in the stomach: histamine antagonists and proton pump inhibitors .
Examples of H2 blockers available over the counter include:
Note: The H2 blocker ranitidine, which was in older Zantac products, was removed from the market in 2020 after it was found to contain a cancer-causing agent.
The proton-pump inhibitors esomeprazole , lansoprazole , and omeprazole are sold over-the-counter to treat frequent heartburn for 14 days. These types of medicines are also available as higher-strength prescriptions. Take them according to the directions on the package or as advised by your doctor.
If these medications don’t relieve your symptoms, or if your heartburn symptoms get worse or last for longer than 2 weeks, you should see your doctor.
Recommended Reading: Why Is My Heartburn So Bad
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
Goodsense Omeprazole Delayed Release Acid Reducer Tablets 20 Mg 42 Count
- Worry-free use: acidil tablets are easy to take when bloated, and this medicine will not slow down the absorption of other medications or micronutrients..
- Peace of mind: acidil does not cause diarrhea, constipation, gas, or drowsiness and it won’t mask symptoms of a more serious condition.
- Additional options for indigestion: boiron indigestion line includes gasalia for flatulence and nux vomica for overindulgence..
- Otc acidil: this over the counter medicine is available in a box of 60 unflavored tablets or in this 120-count twin pack.
- Heartburn relief remedy: boiron acidil tablets relieve occasional heartburn, acid indigestion, bloating, or upset stomach.
- Ingredients: see package for ingredients.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Naturally
A Pharmacist Can Help With Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Speak to a pharmacist for advice if you keep getting heartburn.
They can recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your symptoms.
It’s best to take these with food or soon after eating, as this is when you’re most likely to get heartburn. They may also work for longer if taken with food.
Proton Pump Inhibitors When H2 Blockers Dont Help
If after a couple weeks of taking H2 blockers your acid reflux symptoms still arent letting up and/or are occuring 2 or more days per week, stop them and try a proton pump inhibitor once daily. PPIs work by blocking an enzyme found in cells in the stomach lining that produce stomach acid. This causes them to make less acid and relieve symptoms of heartburn and GERD.
Also Check: Reasons For Acid Reflux And Heartburn
Check If You Have Acid Reflux
The main symptoms of acid reflux are:
- heartburn a burning sensation in the middle of your chest
- an unpleasant sour taste in your mouth, caused by stomach acid
You may also have:
- a cough or hiccups that keep coming back
- a hoarse voice
Your symptoms will probably be worse after eating, when lying down and when bending over.
How Much Do H2 Blockers Cost
H2 blockers are available in brand and generic versions. Generics tend to be cheaper than brands.
Generic appears to be more affordable than . The lowest GoodRx price for the most common version of generic famotidine is about $7, which is 59% off the average retail price of $17.08. The lowest GoodRx price for the most common version of cimetidine is around $17.80, which is 67% off the average retail price of $54.48.
Also Check: What To Do For Heartburn While Pregnant