Over-the-Counter Treatments for GERD

Inside Diseases & Conditions:

This can sometimes force stomach acid up into the esophagus. PPIs are a type of drug used to ease the symptoms of acid-related conditions.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) work by blocking an enzyme necessary for acid secretion and include omeprazole (Losec®) lansoprazole (Prevacid®), pantoprazole sodium (Pantoloc®), esomeprazole (Nexium®), rabeprazole (Pariet®), pantoprazole magnesium (Tecta®), and dual delayed release dexlansoprazole (Dexilant®). The first step in finding the right treatment involves understanding the differences between heartburn and GERD.

Avoiding dietary triggers, eating several small meals instead of fewer large ones, losing weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding lying down for a few hours after eating can all help reduce acid reflux. Elevating the head of your mattress six to eight inches when you sleep can help prevent night time heartburn.

However, if the H2 blockers don’t work well, patients can usually get a PPI if needed. If you are feeling heartburn 2-3 times per week, you are actually having acid reflux many times per day. In this situation, you should be on prescription medication to prevent the heartburn from happening. To reduce the risk of acid reflux, you can limit trigger foods, eat smaller meals, and refrain from eating three to four hours before laying down. Frequent acid reflux that occurs more than twice a week is called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), which may have more severe consequences than occasional heartburn, according to the NHS.

Because lifestyle changes and medications work well in most people, surgery is done on only a small number of people. For some people, acid reflux symptoms may be relieved by changing habits, diet, and lifestyle.

This factsheet is about Heartburn & Reflux

If caught early, the condition can be treated and leave no signs of damage to your kidneys. Beyond the elevated infection risk, this study didn’t find a connection between PPIs and several other safety issues it examined that have been identified by earlier research. PPIs didn’t appear to cause fractures, kidney disease, dementia, cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hospitalizations, or premature death. Of all the potential safety concerns with PPIs, the risk of infections is one that doctors most consistently say changes how they prescribe the drugs. And, each year on PPIs was associated with up to a 0.5 percent higher risk of hip fractures for older adults taking the drugs in a different observational study.

Most importantly, you should not self-treat your symptoms with items bought from a drugstore or pharmacy. Any treatment should always come with the instruction of your healthcare provider. It has not been proven that PPI use causes chronic kidney disease, but some studies suggest there is an increased risk of chronic kidney disease in individuals who have normal kidney function before using a PPI. This does not mean that everyone who uses PPIs will get chronic kidney disease, but it is important to know that there may be a risk.

Although a PPI is more powerful than the H2 blockers, it is hard to know if it will be more effective for this type of discomfort. Secondly, the sodium content of baking soda is not healthy, particularly for people with heart problems, high blood pressure, or kidney disease. There are other antacids that will work just as well with fewer consequences.

Avoid late night, high fat meals so you don’t go to bed with a full stomach. Propping up your head when you sleep may also alleviate symptoms. Eat little but more often if necessary.

Ambulatory acid (pH) probe test. A monitor is placed in your esophagus to identify when, and for how long, stomach acid regurgitates there. The monitor connects to a small computer that you wear around your waist or with a strap over your shoulder. The monitor might be a thin, flexible tube (catheter) that’s threaded through your nose into your esophagus, or a clip that’s placed in your esophagus during an endoscopy and that gets passed into your stool after about two days.

For this reason, regular follow-up with your doctor is important. Reducing the reflux of acid into the esophagus also helps to alleviate discomfort, heal irritation in the esophagus, and prevent GERD from becoming a more serious condition, such as esophagitis, a chronic inflammation of the esophagus, or Barrett’s esophagus, a precancerous condition.

Acid reflux can be prevented in some cases by changing the habits that cause the reflux including avoiding alcohol, not smoking, limiting fatty foods and other food triggers, maintaining a healthy body weight, and avoiding large meals within 3 hours of bedtime. However, studies show that people who take PPIs for a long time or in high doses are more likely to have hip, wrist, and spinal fractures. A child or teen should take these medicines on an empty stomach so that his or her stomach acid can make them work correctly.

This sensation results when harsh stomach acid comes in contact with and irritates the lining of the esophagus – the tube-like structure that connects the mouth to the stomach. Omeprazole may relieve stomach acid symptoms a little slower than other acid-lowering drugs. Its full effect may take 1-4

“Even though people end up taking PPIs for years, the medication has been shown to change the pH of your stomach, potentially causing serious health effects. Studies have shown that long-term use of PPIs can increase your risk of developing kidney disease, osteoporosis, community-acquired pneumonia, and developing a bacterium called C. diff., which can cause severe diarrhea. Long-term use could also deplete nutrients in your body.” In other words, they’re best reserved for when nothing else works, and stick to the two-week course recommended on the back of the bottle. If symptoms come back shortly after, it’s time to talk to your doctor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *