Medications relieve acid reflux symptoms
We want to help you get relief from that burning sensation caused by acid reflux. That's why our specialists at Goshen Physicians Gastroenterology use comprehensive testing to diagnose the cause of your symptoms. Based on your results, we then prescribe the best treatment option for you.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications relieve moderate or severe acid reflux symptoms. Some medications neutralize stomach acid. Others help stop acid production. Medications are effective for most people. But they may require lifelong use for continued control of symptoms.
Antacids neutralize stomach acid
Oftentimes, antacids are the first drugs recommended to relieve heartburn. These over-the-counter medications work well for occasional or mild heartburn.
Side effects of antacids can include diarrhea and constipation. Plus, long-term use of antacids has been found to block the absorption of calcium and other vitamins and minerals in some people. Antacids also can reduce the effectiveness of certain anti-hypertensive drugs and antibiotics. And they can reduce the effectiveness of H2 blockers. Antacids are best used alone.
H2 blockers decrease acid production
H2 blockers are available in both over-the-counter and prescription strength. These drugs can provide short-term relief of heartburn. H2 blockers are effective for about half of those with acid reflux.
Side effects of H2 blockers can include diarrhea, dizziness, rash or headache. Famotidine, found in Pepcid®, is restricted for those with impaired kidney function, as it can affect the central nervous system and may result in anxiety, depression, insomnia or drowsiness and mental disturbances.
Proton pump inhibitors focus on acid secretion
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) work by inhibiting the stomach molecules responsible for acid secretion (the gastric acid pump). Primarily available through a prescription, PPIs are more effective than H2 blockers and relieve or improve symptoms in almost everyone with acid reflux, while healing the esophageal lining.
PPI side effects are uncommon, but may include headache, diarrhea, constipation, nausea and itching. Long-term use of these drugs has been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, leading to hip, wrist and spine fractures. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid PPIs, although recent studies suggest that they do not pose an increased risk of birth defects. PPIs may interact with certain drugs, including anti-seizure medications, (phenytoin), anti-anxiety drugs (diazepam) and blood thinners (such as warfarin and Plavix®).
We can help
Call our acid reflux specialists at Goshen Physicians Gastroenterology, (574) 537-1625. Find out how we can help stop the burning.