Drug Basics & Safety
Popular over-the-counter medications like Tums, Maalox, Rolaids and Mylanta neutralize stomach acid and provide fast-acting relief in mild or isolated cases of acid reflux. Some antacids come in liquid form to coat the lining of the esophagus and help reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. But they won’t aid in reducing inflammation of the esophagus associated with GERD. Acid Reducers, also called H2 Receptor Antagonists, or H2 Blockers.
Take them according to the directions on the package or as advised by your doctor. Be sure to follow the directions on the label so you don’t overdose or overuse antacids.
More than 60 million Americans are said to have acid reflux regularly, and it causes numerous hospital admissions. Read about risk factors, including diet and lifestyle, and the many home remedies people can try. In the worst cases, acid reflux may lead to GERD or gastroesophogeal reflux disease or worse conditions. Manage symptoms of acid reflux by avoiding the many potential triggers.
“Is there a link between heartburn and gas?.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 25 Oct. 2018. Web.
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- Antacids are effective when used to treat occasional symptoms, but you should try to avoid heartburn and acid indigestion altogether by eating smaller meals, remaining upright after eating, and cutting down on caffeine.
- When using antacid products, tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially aspirin, Lanoxin (digoxin), Valium (diazepam), Diflucan (fluconazole), Didronel (etirdronate), Dilantin (phenytoin), tetracycline antibiotics, and vitamins.
- A tiny camera on the end of the endoscope lets your doctor examine your esophagus, stomach and the beginning of your small intestine (duodenum).
- Your doctor might be able to diagnose GERD based on a physical examination and history of your signs and symptoms.
- Well, you can try the lifestyle and diet changes written about in the previous post.
- Improved reflux is just one of the 15 mind-blowing ways your body heals after you quit smoking.
They cause your stomach to produce less acid, and stopping suddenly can cause it to overproduce acid. If you’re taking a PPI or H2 blocker once a day, ask your doctor about cutting back, perhaps to every other day, and then every few days. Antacids, like calcium carbonate (Tums), sodium bicarbonate, Maalox and Milk of Magnesia, relieve indigestion and heartburn by neutralising the acid in your stomach. They give quick relief that lasts for a few hours. They’re ideal for occasional stomach acid symptoms.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before combining any OTC treatments for GERD with other medications. Some people say they think that these drugs provide immediate relief, but they can take one to four days to work and should be taken for at least two weeks, or longer if your doctor recommends. PPIs aren’t meant to treat run-of-the-mill heartburn, but rather gastroesophageal reflux disease, when heartburn occurs twice a week or more for weeks or months.
It’s called ‘steakhouse syndrome,’ because it’s usually a big piece of steak that gets stuck in there. You feel like you’re having a heart attack, but it’s really just the esophagus having a spasm around the food.” Long-term damage to the esophagus can also lead to development of a stricture – more scar tissue, but instead of a ring, it’s a progressive narrowing, so that food can’t go down very easily. This can be opened up during upper endoscopy, as a gastroenterologist makes tiny cuts in the scar tissue to relax its stranglehold on the esophagus.
Most PPIs come as over-the-counter or prescription tablets, but pantoprazole (Protonix) may also be given intravenously at the hospital for people who are admitted with a bleeding ulcer. Taking a PPI reduces the chance that an ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding will occur again. If your heartburn is not relieved with OTC antacids or acid blockers, talk to your doctor. You may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or another condition that may need different treatment.