Or Inquire About Proton Pump Inhibitors
If other medications don’t help, there are also proton pump inhibitors , such as Prevacid. These have a more powerful acid-suppressing effect than H2 blockers, and most are available over the counter.
Although PPIs are, in general, safe for pregnant women, animal studies have raised concerns that omeprazole could harm a developing fetus, Dr. Richter says. “My recommendation to patients would be to avoid that one because there are about five or six out there on the market, with the H2 blockers,” he says. “All of them look to be safe during pregnancy.”
Be sure to discuss any medications with your doctor.
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Medications To Treat Gerd During Pregnancy
Beyond the dietary and lifestyle measures listed above, safe antacids are the next step in treating GERD during pregnancy. The first-line medications that are safe to use during pregnancy include:
Dr. Ross explains that these medications help coat the esophagus, minimizing the burning sensation. They also help neutralize stomach acid. These medications should be taken 30 minutes before each meal and before bedtime for optimal results, or they can simply be taken on an as-needed basis.
If you find that you are taking large and frequent doses of the above medications to treat your GERD symptoms, you may need an acid reducing medication, such as the following treatments are also safe during pregnancy:
- Zantac *Though ranitidine was previously recalled, Zantac is back on the market with the same active ingredient as Pepcid.
These are considered second-line medications. Antacids work more quickly and are less expensive. Many women with mild symptoms wont need to try Pepcid or Tagamet.
According to Dr. Garza, it is best to avoid sodium bicarbonate or aspirin containing antacids during pregnancy. For severe reflux cases requiring care beyond the safer medications listed above, it is best to talk with your healthcare professional. He or she may prescribe proton pump inhibitors if the medications above dont work. These popular medications, like Prilosec and Nexium , are also generally considered to be safe during pregnancy.
If You’re Taking Prescription Medicines
Speak to your GP if you’re taking medicine for another condition, such as antidepressants, and you think it may be making your indigestion worse. They may be able to prescribe an alternative medicine.
Never stop taking a prescribed medicine unless you’re advised to do so by your GP or another qualified healthcare professional who’s responsible for your care.
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Eat Less But More Often
When you are pregnant, you start paying more attention to your diet so your baby stays healthy. But this does not mean that you need to eat for two, it is just an unwarranted pregnancy myth. In fact, overeating is a big NO as it can worsen the symptoms of heartburn.
One of the best things you can do is eat less, more often. Having several small meals throughout the day not only helps keep acid at bay, it helps prevent morning sickness as well.
Pregnant or not, an overly stuffed stomach can contribute to heartburn. Instead of three square meals a day, try five or six smaller ones.
Take your time to finish your food and make sure to chew thoroughly. Also, avoid eating a heavy meal 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Heartburn symptoms can worsen if you lay down soon after finishing your dinner.
Don’t Treat Tums Like Candy
As with most things, moderation is key. According to the manufacturer’s website, pregnant individuals are advised to limit themselves to a maximum of 15 TUMS Regular Strength 500 within any 24 hour period. The maximums differ from product to product, so be sure to read the bottle carefully and consult with a healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.
Dr. Clark suggests keeping an eye on intake and symptoms. “If you find you are using TUMS daily or they do not relieve your symptoms, be sure to let your obstetrical care provider know.”
But if TUMS aren’t working to relieve your symptoms after a while, don’t fret. “It may be time to consider alternative therapy for your symptoms of GERD, like a prescription medication,” says Dr. Clark.
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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
Dont Miss: What Can I Take For Heartburn Besides Tums
How Can Heartburn During Pregnancy Be Prevented
You can take steps to reduce heartburn symptoms without hurting your baby.
- Limit caffeine.
- Dont smoke and avoid alcohol. Besides causing heartburn, smoking and drinking during pregnancy can cause health problems for the baby.
Other tips to avoid heartburn during pregnancy:
- Sit up straight when you eat.
- Dont eat late at night.
- Dont lie down right after eating.
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of the bed. Or try placing pillows under your shoulders. Doing so helps prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest.
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Causes Of Indigestion In Pregnancy
Symptoms of indigestion come when the acid in your stomach irritates your stomach lining or your gullet. This causes pain and a burning feeling.
When you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to have indigestion because of:
- hormonal changes
- the growing baby pressing on your stomach
- the muscles between your stomach and gullet relaxing, allowing stomach acid to come back up
You may be more likely to get indigestion in pregnancy if:
- you had indigestion before you were pregnant
- you’ve been pregnant before
- you’re in the later stages of pregnancy
How To Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy
For many people, pregnancy can cause different problems and heartburn is one of them.
Uncomfortable and frustrating, heartburn can make you forget about the pleasure of being pregnant as your mind becomes occupied by the pain and burning sensation in your chest.
There are two main causes of heartburn during pregnancy the ongoing hormonal changes in the body and the increasing pressure on the stomach from the growing womb.
The hormonal changes in the body can cause the muscles in the esophagus to relax more frequently. This allows stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus, especially when youre lying down to take a nap or after youve eaten a large meal.
With each passing day, your uterus expands to accommodate the growth of your baby. This means your stomach is under more pressure, which also results in food and acid being pushed back up into your esophagus.
Its common to have heartburn during the first and third trimesters, but it doesnt mean you have to just bear with it throughout your pregnancy.
While medicines are not recommended for pregnancy-related heartburn as they can have lasting effects on the unborn baby, there are many simple things that can help you deal with this problem and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Here are the top 10 ways to treat heartburn during pregnancy.
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from light, excess heat, and moisture .
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDAs Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
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
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Safely Taking Heartburn Medication During Pregnancy
Medications that block gastric acid secretion , such as Tagamet, Zantac and Pepcid seem to be safe to take while pregnant and fall into the green light category.
However, even safe heartburn medication during pregnancy should not be taken without a doctors advice.
Over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums, Mylecon, Milk of Magnesia and Maalox are all safe to take during pregnancy and are also in the green light category. Because it contains aspirin, Alka Seltzer is not safe to take during pregnancy, although Alka Seltzer brand compounds that do not contain aspirin are safe.
Phenobarbital-containing anti-spasmodics are in the red light category since phenobarbital has been reported to harm fetal development.
For Stronger Relief H2 Blockers
H2 blockers work by decreasing stomach acid and blocking histamine one of the bodys inflammatory agents from causing the stomach to produce acid. H2 blockers act more slowly compared to antacids and typically kick in within an hour of taking them. However, this also means they provide long-lasting symptom relief for up to 8 to 12 hours.
H2 blockers are available both over the counter and by prescription. They usually work better when taken 10 to 60 minutes before eating food or drinking beverages that cause reflux. If your symptoms still arent alleviated, you can take another dose within 24 hours.
Common H2 Blockers
- Muscle aches and abdominal pain
As with antacids, H2 blockers are only suitable for short-term use. Unless directed by a medical professional, its not advised to take the maximum daily dose for more than 2 weeks. Its also important to note that over time, the effectiveness of any H2 blocker will wear off due to the stomach adjusting to the medication.
If your acid reflux symptoms occur more than twice a week, or if the severity of your symptoms increases, you might have GERD a severe form of acid reflux. In this case, your doctor may increase your H2 blocker dosage or will suggest a proton pump inhibitor .
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Omeprazole May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:
- severe diarrhea with watery stools, stomach pain, or fever that does not go away
- rash on cheeks or arms that is sensitive to sunlight
- increased or decreased urination, blood in urine, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, fever, rash, or joint pain
People who take proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole may be more likely to fracture their wrists, hips, or spine than people who do not take one of these medications. People who take proton pump inhibitors may also develop fundic gland polyps . These risks are highest in people who take high doses of one of these medications or take them for one year or longer. Talk to your doctor about the risk of taking omeprazole.
Omeprazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administrations MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
Try Chamomile Tea Instead
If the ginger tea isnt working or you want something else to work with it, chamomile tea is the option to go for. Again, opt for lukewarm water if the hot water is making your heartburn worse.
Chamomile is excellent for calming your whole system. If youre struggling to sleep because of the pregnancy symptoms, chamomile tea is highly recommended. Youll also find that it can settle your upset stomach if you suffer from morning sickness.
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Over The Counter Medications
Prescription medications arent the only ones you will need to know about. The over-the-counter medications you are accustomed to taking for headaches, allergies, and other issues can also be dangerous, although many are considered safe. Here is a quick list of medicines that are generally considered to be safe for your baby, although you should talk to your doctor about them.
- Tylenol or acetaminophen
Safe Prescription Allergy Medications
- Singulair : Usage of montelukast during pregnancy for treatment of asthma does not appear to increase the risk of major birth defects.
- Allergy shots : Its considered safe to continue your allergy shots during pregnancy. Let your healthcare providers know that youre pregnant and they will carefully monitor your dosage.
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How To Use Pepcid Complete
Do not take more than 2 tablets within 24 hours. Follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This product contains an antacid which may react with other medications, preventing them from being fully absorbed by your body. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to schedule your medications to prevent this problem.
Stop taking this medication and call your doctor promptly if your symptoms continue after you begin taking it, or if they do not improve after you have been taking this medication for 14 days in a row. Do not take this medicine for more than 14 days in a row without talking with your doctor.
How To Relieve Pregnancy Heartburn
When you experience heartburn during pregnancy, immediate relief is not easy to find. Changing positions can sometimes keep the burning sensation at bay, but the discomfort may still continue to occur. âIf your valves are going to relax with oxytocin, thatâs just your fate. You can try sleeping at an angle, but much like stretch marks, if itâs going to happen, itâs going to happen,â Lyon explains.
Some over-the-counter heartburn-relief medications like Tums and Rolaids are typically considered safe to take during pregnancy, but itâs always best to discuss the use of these medications with your doctor. âIf youâve tried the natural methods such as avoiding certain foods, drinks, and are well-rested, etc., and you still have discomfort, you should speak with your doctor to see what can be done to soothe the feeling,â Shepherd tells Romper.
While pregnancy heartburn is not something to be overly concerned about , Lyon says that anyone who is awakened frequently overnight with heartburn or doesnât respond to OTC medications should continue this conversation with their doctor to prevent worsening. âIgnoring the symptoms can lead to long-term damage to the sensitive tissue of the esophagus, and prescribed medications can help with severe symptoms that might be diagnosed as GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.â
Dr. Jessica Shepherd, MD, OB/GYN, chief medical officer of Verywell Health
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Other Ways To Relieve Heartburn
Heartburn is one of the most common types of pain that pregnant women face and if you have had it in the past, you are more likely to get it when you are pregnant. Its believed that pregnancy hormones, such as progesterone, can relax the muscular valve in the stomach, which usually closes to prevent stomach acids from backflowing into the esophagus.
And as the baby grows, the fetus can create upward pressure, pushing on the abdomen. The food goes north rather than south, said Dr. Joel E. Richter, thedirector of the division of gastroenterology and nutrition at the University of South Florida who has studied the effects of heartburn medications taken during pregnancy.
If you are looking for relief, certain dietary changes such as avoiding spicy, acidic or fatty foods limiting caffeine and eating smaller, more frequent meals can help.
Its also best to remain upright for a couple of hours after eating.
If those changes do not make a difference, Dr. Richter said, the first line of defense during pregnancy is typically to use sucralfate , a prescription ulcer medication that is sometimes used for treating reflux disease or antacids that do not contain aspirin .
If these measures are not enough, doctors typically advise pregnant women to take histamine blockers like ranitidine to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach, or a different class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors, which inhibit the secretion of stomach acid, such as Prilosec .