Heartburn/GERD Treatment: Medicine
GERD is usually treated with a combination of diet and lifestyle changes, medications, and in some cases, surgery. Most doctors would first consider the least expensive and least invasive options such as over-the-counter medicines, then they work their way to more intensive forms of treatment.
Medications for GERD
There are various medications that can help relieve symptoms of GERD. They are available as over-the counter and prescription drugs. The most common over the counter-the-counter products are antacids. These drugs chemically react with stomach acids by forming salt and water.
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GERD and H2 Blockers
Stomach acid production is a normal part of the digestive process. If stomach acid are produced excessively, this can cause the pain and discomfort in the abdomen commonly known as indigestion. The excess acid may also reflux into the esophagus, causing pain and a burning sensation known as heartburn. Conditions that cause excessive acid production may be treated with H2 blockers or H2 receptor antagonists.
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GERD and Proton Pump Inhibitors
Another way to reduce stomach acid is to shut down the "pumps" in the acid-secreting cells. This is how proton pump inhibitors — a class of potent acid-suppressing drugs— stop cells in the lining of the stomach from making too much acid. Doctors usually these drugs to promote the healing of peptic ulcers.
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Effect of H2 Blockers on Heartburn/GERD
H2 blockers reduce acid production by blocking a specific histamine receptor. Histamine has several effects. In the stomach, histamine stimulates acid production. When the stomach juice is less...
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Effect of Proton Pump Inhibitors on Heartburn/GERD
Proton pump inhibitors’ work by blocking a chemical system which is responsible for making stomach acid. This is known as the hydrogen-potassium adenosine triphosphatase enzyme system (proton...
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Effect of Antacids on Heartburn/GERD
Antacids work directly in the stomach to reduce the acidity of the refluxed liquid that can irritate the esophagus. Antacids help relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, and stomach upset. They may also...
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Anthony, P.,Delmar's Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam Review. 2nd Edition. 2003. Delmar Cengage Learning.
Rosenthal. M. 50 Ways to Relieve Heartburn, Reflux and Ulcers. 2001.