Otc Vs Prescription Gerd Drugs
You may wonder if an OTC or prescription GERD medication would be better for you.
The OTC forms of H2 blockers and PPIs have lower dosage levels than the prescription versions. Theyre safe to use for short-term relief of minor discomfort.
However, if OTC medications do not resolve your symptoms, or symptoms frequently return, you should speak with a doctor.
Prescription medications can provide stronger relief from GERD symptoms. Certain prescription-strength medications, such as prescription PPIs, can also help heal damage to the esophagus caused by acid reflux.
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.
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 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.
Our Choice For The Best Heartburn Medications
When it comes to the best medicine for heartburn, we believe that you should start with Prilosec OTC. This product is one of the most recommended medications for heartburn for more than a decade with its users happy with its effects on their stomach issues. If you have been experiencing heartburn regularly because of the food that you have been eating or because you have been diagnosed with acid reflux or GERD, this may help ease the burning at the chest and throat. With regular use, you will be able to minimize the occurrence of heartburn, so you will feel more comfortable.
There is no denying that Prilosec OTC is a miracle worker when it comes to alleviating heartburn and other acid indigestion symptoms. All that you have to do is to follow the directions indicated and you will get the best results for your heartburn. Although this is just providing temporary relief, when you mix it with proper diet and even exercise, you will be able to prevent acid reflux and heartburn from occurring regularly. Talk to your doctor about what form of treatment they can refer to you to help you regulate your acid indigestion and heartburn problems using over the counter medications for heartburn.
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How Do You Prevent Heartburn
Avoiding or addressing your triggers can help keep heartburn at bay. When in doubt, talk to your doctor about your symptoms, especially if youre experiencing heartburn 2 or more times per week, advises Rooker.
The Mayo Clinic advises some other simple steps you can take to reduce stomach pressure. These include:
- Eating at least 3 hours before bed
- Elevating the head of your bed if you experience discomfort at night
- Avoiding large meals
For many, a combination of lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications can treat heartburn right at home. For those with more severe symptoms or GERD, prescription medications and other treatments may be used.
Talk To Your Doctor About Alginates
Antacids are the most commonly bought heartburn medicine/ medications, but you can get some that also have alginates. These medications help to line the esophagus to eliminate the pain and discomfort that you feel, giving you immediate relief.
At the same time, they create a barrier over the top of your stomach acid. This foamy barrier stops the acid from getting through, preventing the reason for the heartburn in the first place. Its a long-term option.
If you suffer from bad acid reflux during the night, you will want to discuss these as an option during pregnancy with your doctor. They can give the lining throughout the night to help you sleep and then you stick to immediate or other options during the day.
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Read About Heartburn Causes Like Alcohol Caffeine Medications Drinks Food Smoking Pregnancy Obesity And Medical Conditions
After finishing a course of antibiotics, taking a mixture of probiotics can also help to restore balance in the microbiome. Take a close look at your medications and your supplement list to determine whether you should continue taking vitamins and minerals while taking. Their efficiency, however, comes at a cost. There are a number of important interactions between antibiotics and other medicines so it’s important to tell which your doctor or pharmacist about any other medicines you are taking. It is used to treat reflux in babies and if we. It can slow down the amount of time it takes for the meds. Designed to stop bacteria from reproducing, antibiotics destroy infections that used to be fatal. Can i take antibiotic and painkiller at the same time? answered by dr. Thankfully, according to him, taking antibiotics and smoking marijuana may not be as harmful to an individual as one would initially think. That draws energy away from making. Marijuana use is not recommended while on antibiotics. But do not self treat! Antibiotics can kill the beneficial bacteria in probiotics, so it is advisable to take the two a few hours apart.
Drink Some Lukewarm Ginger Tea
Hot tea is going to make your heartburn worse. One of the most popular herbal remedies for heartburn is lukewarm ginger tea. The ginger will help to settle the acid and re-balance the body, while the lukewarm water helps to counter against the heat of the heartburn. Get some GingerTea from here best for pregnancy.
Youll also find that the ginger tea balances an upset stomach. Its perfect throughout pregnancy, but do avoid drinking too much. There are concerns that too much can cause a miscarriage, but there are still studies looking into this.
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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 Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
Find The Right Drugs At The Lowest Possible Price
Remember Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is? Well, heartburn drugs have changed a lot since that TV jingle became popular. Americans spent $6 billion on the acid-reflux drug Nexium in 2012, making it the top-selling branded prescription medication. But other drugs work just as well and cost less, according to a Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs analysis. Heres how to treat heartburn right.
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Why Are Heartburn Medications Dangerous
As youve just learned, heartburn medications can lead to overuse, drug interactions, and negative side effects. However, long-term use of heartburn medication may also result in many health problems including increased overall mortality.
A longitudinal observational cohort study on US veterans looking at mortality rates, associated mortality, and PPI and H2 blocker medications found 45.20 excess deaths per 1000 patients in those taking PPIs, including infections, parasitic diseases, neoplasms, and genitourinary disease associated with PPI use. They found excess mortality due to cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and gastrointestinal cancer associated with PPIs .
Increased mortality, however, is not the only problem with heartburn medication. Lets look at other issues that long-term heartburn medication use may lead to.
What Do We Know So Far
On September 13, 2019, the FDA announced that preliminary tests found low levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine in ranitidine, a heartburn medication used by millions of Americans. This week, the drug companies Novartis and Apotex announced that they were recalling all of their generic ranitidine products sold in the US.
These announcements came after a Connecticut-based online pharmacy informed the FDA that it had detected NDMA in multiple ranitidine products under certain test conditions.
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How Do Antacids Work To Treat Heartburn
Antacids reduce the amount of stomach acid, relieving your heartburn. These medications can also be used to soothe stomach upset, indigestion and other pains in your stomach. Some antacids contain simethicone, which reduces gas. Antacids that you can get without a prescription include:
Make sure you always follow the instructions on the package or talk to your doctor about the right way to use an antacid. If you use tablets, chew them well before swallowing for faster relief.
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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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.
When Should You See A Doctor
You should see a doctor if you continue to have indigestion symptoms despite a few weeks of using an indigestion medicine. You should always see a doctor if you have any of the following:
- Difficulty swallowing .
- Losing weight without dieting.
- Having a lot of pain in your stomach .
- Being sick , especially if there is any blood in the vomit.
- If youre over 55 and get frequent bouts of indigestion.
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How Should I Take An H2 Blocker
If you have mild reflux symptoms that occur less than two times a week, you can start with a low dose of or . Ranitidine , another H2 blocker, was recently removed from the market because it was found to contain higher-than-acceptable levels of cancer-causing substances. But to date, FDAs testing has not found this substance in famotidine or cimetidine products.
To prevent reflux symptoms, both famotidine and cimetidine work better when taken 10 to 60 minutes before eating food or drinking beverages that cause reflux. If symptoms persist, you can take one more dose within 24 hours. But remember: H2 blockers are only good for short-term use. Do not take the maximum daily dose continuously for more than 2 weeks, unless directed by your doctor. Once your acid reflux improves, stop the medication. Its very important to know that almost all H2 blockers dont work well after a period of time since the stomach adjusts and they become much less effective.
If your reflux is more frequent or severe, you may have GERD, which is a more severe form of reflux. Your doctor may have you take an H2 blocker twice daily for up to 6 weeks or a proton pump inhibitor , which we will cover next.
Reduce Stress & Improve Sleep
Chronic stress and poor sleep can lead to inflammation in your body and interfere with your digestion to increase your risk of heartburn. To improve your stomach acid levels naturally, it is important that you reduce stress and improve your sleep. Spend your time with positive people that you love, reduce stressful activities, spend more time in nature, do some grounding walking barefoot on grass, journal, meditate, practice gratitude, pray or engage in spiritual practices, and smile more.
Develop a nighttime routine that works for you. Stay away from electronics, stressful activities, and food several hours before bed. Sip on herbal tea and wind down with relaxing activities. Make sure that you sleep in a dark room on a comfortable bed, bedding, and pillow. Make sure you get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
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Path To Improved Health
To find out which medicine is right for you, talk to your family doctor. He or she can tell you about the benefits and risks. Antacids and acid reducers rarely cause side effects. If they do, the side effects usually are minor and go away on their own. These may include headaches, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.
Talk to your doctor before taking antacids if you have kidney disease. You should avoid any antacid that contains calcium carbonate or aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate unless your doctor recommends it.
Talk to your doctor before taking a proton pump inhibitor if:
- You are elderly or have immune system problems. PPIs can increase your risk for pneumonia.
- You are a postmenopausal woman. PPIs reduce calcium absorption and increase your risk for osteoporosis.
- You have been treated for a Clostridium difficile infection in the past. PPIs may increase the risk that your infection returns.
If you are over the age of 55 and require long-term PPI treatment, your doctor may refer you for an EGD . This procedure examines the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine. If you have significant reflux, your doctor also may test you for the bacteria H. pylori prior to trying you on PPIs.
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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What Are The Side Effects Of Proton Pump Inhibitors
Like H2 blockers, the common side effects of proton pump inhibitors are mild and include:
However, concerns have been raised about serious side effects from using PPIs long term. These concerns have led the FDA to issue several warnings about PPIs. Side effects that may be associated with long-term use include:
Risk of fractures
Hypomagnesemia low level of magnesium in the blood that can lead to convulsions, fatigue, and muscle weakness
Increased risk of Clostridium difficile bacteria infections
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Increased risk of dementia
Lupus-like syndrome that causes lesions on the skin
Importantly, most studies on these effects are observational and havent established a direct link between the medications and the effects. But nearly all the effects were seen in people who took these medications long term.
Be sure to work with your healthcare provider to figure out how long you should be on PPIs and whether the risks outweigh the benefits of taking them for more than a few weeks.