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.
When Heartburn Medications Can Be Dangerous
If you are one of the millions of Americans who are dealing with heartburn on a regular basis, you know the discomfort of burning in your chest or throat and indigestion. If youve been to a doctor with your issue, there is a good chance that youve been suggested or prescribed heartburn medications. The problem is that taking heartburn medications long-term doesnt solve heartburn and may lead to serious health issues. Instead, I recommend natural strategies to improve your stomach acid levels for heartburn.
In this article, you will learn about the role of stomach acid in your body. You will understand what heartburn is. I will explain what proton-pump inhibitor heartburn medications are, when they may be appropriate, and why they may be dangerous long-term. I will also share my best tips to improve your stomach acid levels naturally.
Eat A Banana Or An Apple
Bananas contain natural antacids that can act as a buffer against acid reflux. If you want to try out the simplest home remedies for heartburn first, try letting a few bananas ripen up nicely and eating one every day. Another option is to try an apple a day. Slice one up and eat it a couple of hours before bedtime to relieve or prevent discomfort.
Get Zantac 75 When Theres No Pepcid
If you run out of Pepcid and you cant get anymore, Zantac 75 is an option. This is another heartburn medication that works on neutralizing the acid in the stomach. It doesnt work on blocking the acid production in the way that the above medication does.
You can get the Zantac 75 without a prescription in both liquid and tablet form. It can be effective for on the spot heartburn relief, but its not the best option. It is one of those for the longer term benefits.
Zantac 75 can also help to relief stomach pains and coughs. It also helps to limit the production of ulcers in the stomach by keeping the acid levels neutral.
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Why Trust Verywell Health
Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.
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Lifestyle And Home Remedies
There are several steps you can take to reduce or eliminate GERD symptoms without taking medication or undergoing surgery.
Lose weight. When excess abdominal weight presses on the stomach, it can cause acid to rise up into the esophagus.
If you’re overweight, your doctor may recommend that you lose excess pounds through diet and exercise.
Wear loose-fitting clothing. This can reduce pressure on your abdomen.
Avoid foods that can cause heartburn. Problematic foods and ingredients may include alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, fatty foods, fried foods, garlic, mint, citrus fruits, onions, tomatoes, and tomato-based sauces.
Change the way you eat. Try eating smaller meals more often, along with eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly.
Dont lie down right after eating. Wait two to three hours after eating before you lie down. Lying down with a full stomach puts increased pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter the ring of muscle that separates your stomach from your esophagus.
Raise the head of your bed. Try to make it six to nine inches higher than the foot of your bed. You can do this by placing wood or cement blocks underneath the legs of your bed, or by putting a foam wedge under the upper half of your mattress.
Lying at an incline reduces pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter and makes it harder for your stomachs contents to enter your esophagus.
Quit smoking. Smoking makes it harder for your lower esophageal sphincter to function properly.
Histamine Type 2 Receptor Antagonists
H2 blockers/antagonists are those compounds that bind and block the histamine type 2 receptors in the parietal cells of the gut.
Antagonizing these cell receptors interferes and inhibits the acid production in the stomach, thereby, reducing the symptoms of heartburn.
The selectivity of H2 blockers is of utmost importance as they have no effect if they block a similar receptor called histamine Type1, which is a target of anti-histamines to block allergic reactions and which does not inhibit acid secretion .
There are majorly 4 types of H2 antagonistic compounds that can be taken for heartburn namely famotidine, nizatidine, ranitidine and cimetidine.
There are a number of prescription and non-prescription drugs available which contain either one of these or a combination of these chemicals.
H2 receptor blockers are usually slow in their action but once active, their effectiveness is very long lasting.
There are a number of capsules or tablets available in the market with prescription which has to be taken by mouth often before the first meal of the day.
In some cases they can also be taken before an evening meal in which case, it would be directed by the doctor.
If the symptoms dont seem to improve at all after a few weeks of consumption or any other unwanted symptoms are observed, the doctor should be contacted immediately .
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When To Take Gaviscon
If you get occasional mild heartburn or indigestion, only take Gaviscon when you need it.
If you often have heartburn or indigestion, take Gaviscon regularly after meals and at bedtime, up to 4 times a day, whether or not you have symptoms.
If you’ve been taking Gaviscon for more than 7 days and you’re still feeling uncomfortable or in pain, talk to your doctor.
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.
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What Are The Best Heartburn Medications
Heartburn can be a bother especially after you eat. That burning sensation starting in the chest all the way to the throat can be painful not to mention uncomfortable especially when there are stomach matters included. With that being said, using the best medicine for heartburn can be a huge relief as it can reduce acid production in the stomach thus eliminating burning sensation in the chest area. For sure you are having a hard time finding medication for heartburn which is why we have put together a list of possible options for you to try.
- Prilosec OTC
- TUMS Extra Strength Assorted Fruit Antacid Chewable Tablets
- Our rating
If you are looking for the best medicine for heartburn, make sure that you start with Prilosec OTC. This product is highly recommended by doctors, pharmacists, and gastroenterologists for those who often experience heartburn. Taking one pill a day can give you zero heartburn in 24 hours. You need to follow the directions to get the most out of your heartburn medicine so that you will experience relief in no time. If you are the type of person who often experiences heartburn, this medication is worth using. It will take 1 to 4 days for you to get the desired effect.
Risks From Ppis Like Nexium Prevacid And Prilosec
The acid in your stomach performs a variety of functions that are lost when taking PPIs. In addition to breaking down food, stomach acid also chemically changes some nutrients so they may be more easily absorbed. It also helps kill pathogens in your gut before they can cause illness.
Traditionally, PPIs have been viewed as safe medications with few drawbacks, namely nausea and headaches. However, studies are showing that suppressing stomach acid secretion for long periods might have these unintended consequences:
- PPI-associated pneumonia: Bacteria are more likely to multiply in the stomachs less acidic environment and travel to the lungs if you inhale your stomach acid.
- Higher risk for C. diff: Clostridium difficile is a bacterium capable of causing life-threatening cases of diarrhea and conditions like colitis, an inflammation of the colon lining.
- Fracture risk: By lowering stomach acid levels, PPIs might affect your body’s absorption of calcium, which is necessary for healthy bones. Over time, this could lead to osteoporosis and fractures, especially in women.
H2 blockers are not without side effects, but they may provide a better option for some people since they do not reduce stomach acid as aggressively as PPIs.
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What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain laboratory tests before and during your treatment, especially if you have severe diarrhea.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking omeprazole.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. If you are taking prescription omeprazole, ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
How Do Proton Pump Inhibitors Work
Proton pump inhibitors, which may also be called “PPIs,” are also reduce the amount of acid found in your stomach. However, instead of acting on histamine 2 receptors, these medications shut down the pumps responsible for the production and secretion of acid into the stomach. Unlike antacids and H2 blockers, PPIs are not fast-acting. In fact, they can take one to four days to feel the full effects of a PPI. Once they do take effect, PPIs are long lasting, providing relief from heartburn for 24 hours. PPIs are intended to be used only by those experiencing frequent heartburn . They have a strict dosing regimen and must be taken every day in order to be effective at treating frequent heartburn.
You should only take over-the-counter PPIs for 14 days at a time. After taking this medication for 14 days, you should wait four months before taking an over-the-counter PPI again7.
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Best Medications For Heartburn
Heartburn is a condition that 60 million Americans experience at least once per month. The main causes of heartburn include acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic form of acid reflux. The best medication for heartburn includes classes of heartburn medications: antacids, histamine-2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors .
To avoid these symptoms, you can take various kinds of medicationsâ from over-the-counter to prescription. To obtain access to some of these prescription forms of heartburn medication, consider signing up for Mira, an affordable alternative to health insurance that allows you to get up to 80% off on prescriptions.
Alternative Solutions For Controlling Acid Reflux
Some patients may have little choice but to continue their current PPI medication due to more severe GERD symptoms or to prevent against stomach ulcers from NSAIDs , as with arthritis sufferers.
If you have mild heartburn or feel your symptoms may be controlled without PPIs, talk with your doctor about other ways to douse the fire. Consider lifestyle changes, less potent heartburn medications H2 blockers or antacids or reduced frequency of PPIs.
Occasional reflux can be treated effectively with antacids and lifestyle changes such as:
- Avoiding trigger foods such as chocolate, coffee and fatty foods
- Chewing gum, which can increase the production of saliva that can soothe an irritated esophagus and wash stomach acid back down into your stomach
- Elevating the head of your bed for night time heartburn
As with all medications, never stop taking a prescription drug without consulting with your health care provider.
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Try Out Tagamet For Longer Term Relief
Another option for longer term relief is a medication called Tagamet. This works in the same way as Zantac 75 and Pepcid, by blocking some acid production but mostly neutralizing the acid that is in the stomach. It is a longer term relief than the likes of TUMS and Maalox.
The benefit is that Tagamet as a category B rating. This is important for doctors as it means that it hasnt shown any signs of causing an unborn baby problems. It is more favorable than Prilosec, which has a category C rating.
What Are Heartburn Medications
Whats the fuss about the best medicine for heartburn, anyway? There are three types of heartburn medications and these are classified as antacids, H-2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. Antacids, like it was mentioned before, can provide you with quick relief from heartburn as they are formulated to reduce the acid present in the stomach. These dont normally heal any damages dealt with your esophagus so there is a chance that heartburn can occur.
H-2 blockers for the best medicine for heartburn are created to block the H-2 receptors. You can purchase this over the counter with its effects lasting more compared to antacids. However, the effects may take a while before you can feel it. On the other hand, proton pump inhibitors can actually block the production of acid and can heal the lining of the esophagus too. This may require a prescription from your doctor, so you will get the right dosage.
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When Should You Consider A Ppi
Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms such as trouble swallowing, weight loss, or chest pain. Call the doctor if you dont get better in about two weeks. The doctor will look for signs of problems such as GERD .
If you have GERD, you probably need a PPI. Talk to your doctor if:
- You have heartburn at least twice a week for several weeks.
- Food or acid often come back up into your throat.
- You take antacid or H2 blockers, and you make changes like the ones described on this page, but your heartburn does not go away.
If your doctor thinks you need a PPI:
- Ask to start with a low dose of generic prescription lansoprazole or omeprazole. You can also get these medicines over the counter.
- If the heartburn gets better after a few weeks, talk to your doctor about gradually lowering your dose.
This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.
Look Out For Medication With Magnesium Oxide
The heartburn medicines that include magnesium oxide are good for pregnancy. They will increase the amount of magnesium in your system to help limit the production of stomach acid and reduce the flare up of your heartburn.
Look out for those in tablet form and use as little water as possible. When you swallow any type of liquid, you will start the acid production in your stomach. By keeping the water to as little as possible, the tablets can just get to work on your system.
Antacids with magnesium in it will neutralize the acidic effects. It doesnt affect any other part of your body, so your baby isnt going to be affected.
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Ppis Can Change The Way Other Drugs Work
PPIs interact with some common prescription drugs. For example, some PPIs can reduce the blood-thinning effect of the drug Plavix , according to the US Food and Drug Administration. This can increase the risk of heart attack and even death. If you take Plavix, talk to your doctor about whether you should take a PPI.