Over The Counter Medicine For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Over The Counter Medicine For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease – Home Remedies, Methods and Resources Antacids and Acid Reducers: OTC Help for Heartburn and Acid Reflux.

Last updated August 2022 | This article was created by the editorial team and reviewed by Leisa Bailey, MD

Over The Counter Medicine For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Over The Counter Medicine For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are medications that you can buy without a prescription. There are 3 types of OTC medications that treat heartburn and acid reflux.

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To find the right treatment for you, talk to your GP. They can talk about pros and cons. Antacids and acid reducers rarely cause side effects. If they do, the side effects are usually minor and go away on their own. This may include headache, nausea, constipation or diarrhea.

Talk to your doctor before taking antacids if you have kidney disease. You should avoid any antacids that contain calcium carbonate or aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate unless recommended by your doctor.

If you are over 55 and need long-term PPI treatment, your doctor may refer you for an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy). This procedure examines the lining of the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine. If you have severe reflux, your doctor may test for a bacteria called H. pylori before trying PPIs.

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Do not use more than 1 antacid or acid reducer at the same time unless your doctor says it is safe. Keep all medicines stored and out of the reach of small children. Store medicines in a cool, dry place. This helps prevent them from becoming useless before they expire. Medicines should not be stored in bathrooms, which are often hot and humid.

Let your doctor know how OTC medications are working for you. If symptoms do not improve or worsen, your doctor may recommend medication. If possible, try not to take PPIs for a long time. These can increase the risk of certain health conditions, such as osteoporosis, kidney disease and dementia.

Tell your doctor if you get any of these symptoms. They can be signs of a more serious problem.

Over The Counter Medicine For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness and pain in your arms, you may be having a heart attack. Call 911 or go to an emergency room right away.

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This information is general and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your GP to find out if this information applies to you and for more information on this topic. While most cases of GERD can be successfully treated with lifestyle changes and medication, sometimes others may need Surgery.

If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes and medications to treat your condition.

Lifestyle changes — including smoking cessation and weight loss, as well as changes in certain eating habits — can be effective treatments for GERD.

Medications can help reduce and relieve GERD symptoms such as heartburn, and some allow the esophagus to heal from damage caused by acid reflux, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.

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Most people with GERD start on over-the-counter (OTC) medications. If symptoms do not improve after a few weeks, your doctor may prescribe medication.

For people whose GERD doesn’t go away after medications or lifestyle changes, surgery may be an important option, according to the Mayo Clinic.

There are several steps you can take to reduce or eliminate your GERD symptoms without medication or surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic, these include:

Over The Counter Medicine For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Lose weight. When the extra weight of the stomach puts pressure on the stomach, it can cause acid to rise up into the esophagus. If you are overweight, your doctor may recommend that you lose weight through diet and exercise.

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Avoid certain foods. Foods and ingredients that cause heartburn include alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, fatty foods, fried foods, garlic, mint, citrus fruits, onions, tomatoes and sauces.

Change the way you eat. Try to eat small meals often, eat slowly and chew your food well.

Do not sleep immediately after eating. Wait two to three hours after eating before going to bed. Sleeping on a full stomach increases pressure on the esophageal sphincter (LES) – the ring of muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus.

Hit your bed. Try to place the head of the bed six to nine inches above the foot of the bed. You can do this by placing wood or concrete blocks under the foot of the bed, or by placing foam under the top half of the mattress. This type of stability reduces the pressure on the small intestine (LES) and makes it difficult for the contents to enter.

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Stop smoking. Smoking makes it difficult for the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to function properly. Heartburn or oral ulcers can increase the production of bile, which can help remove stomach acid that has traveled up into the esophagus.

Some studies have shown that chewing gum can increase the production of saliva, which can help remove acid from the esophagus.

Be prepared to deal with stress. Previous studies have shown a relationship between stress and reflux esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus caused by GERD) and the level of inflammation associated with the reported condition. Talk to your mental health professional and ask for help with therapy or at-home activities like meditation.

Over The Counter Medicine For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Three types of medications are used to treat GERD, according to the Mayo Institute. They can be purchased at low prices and are available in limited strengths.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (gerd)

Antacids These drugs treat symptoms by reducing stomach acid. They can provide immediate aid, but they cannot help heal a wounded body. These drugs can also cause side effects such as diarrhea or constipation, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Antacids are often the first type of medication recommended by doctors to relieve heartburn and other GERD symptoms.

Commonly used antacids include Mylanta (aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide), Rolaids (calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide), and Tums (calcium carbonate).

H2 blockers These drugs work by reducing the production of acid. They don’t relieve symptoms as quickly as antacids, but they can work for up to 12 hours. They can also help the body heal, though not as much as other options.

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Over-the-counter options in this category include Tagamet (cimetidine) and Pepcid (famotidine). A stronger version of Pepcid (famotidine) is available by prescription.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) These medications reduce acid production, provide relief from symptoms and help the esophagus heal.

Doctors often recommend taking PPIs for long-term treatment of GERD when symptoms are severe. They are generally considered safe and effective, but may carry additional risks

Over The Counter Medicine For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Over-the-counter options in this category include Prilosec (omeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole), and Nexium (esomeprazole) and can be used for short-term treatment. Your doctor should recommend long-term use based on the risks mentioned above. E-mail versions of Prilosec (omeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole), and Nexium (esomeprazole), as well as Protonix (pantoprazole), Aciphex (rabeprazole), and Dexilant (dexlansoprazole) are available by prescription.

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Surgery may be a good option if your GERD is not well controlled with lifestyle changes and medications, or if for some reason you cannot take medication to treat it.

There is a higher risk of complications with surgery than using medications to treat GERD, so it is not recommended unless other options have failed, according to the NIDDK.

Operation In this procedure, the surgeon wraps the lining of the stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to contract the muscle and prevent acid reflux.

This is the most common type of surgery for GERD. It is usually done as a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure.

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LINX device During this minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon wraps a ring of small titanium beads around the opening of the stomach and esophagus, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

The magnetic ring allows food to pass through and seals the area when there is no food.

Endoscopic rubber band ligation This type of procedure involves inserting a small flexible tube called an endoscope, equipped with a camera and light into the esophagus through the mouth. According to the NIDDK, doctors can use endoscopic techniques to sew the lining of the stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter or deliver radio energy to the sphincter.

Over The Counter Medicine For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

He cites some evidence supporting acupuncture, other herbal and natural remedies, bed rest, and meditation techniques to treat stress and reduce symptoms associated with GERD.

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Studies are generally small and lack quality, but the risks of many of these combinations are very low. According to the Mayo Clinic, however, complementary and alternative therapies do not have enough evidence for doctors to recommend them to treat GERD or heal an inflamed esophagus.

Talk to your doctor if you want to find the right combination for GERD, especially if you take it orally, and discuss how to include this in your daily plan.

Some herbal medicines, like medicines, can cause bad effects and interfere with other medicines, so it is important to talk.

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