Treatment of Acid-Reflux
If you have had heartburn or any of the other symptoms for a while, you should see your doctor. You may want to visit an internist, a doctor who specializes in internal medicine, or a gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the stomach and intestines. Depending on how severe your GERD is, treatment may involve one or more of the following lifestyle changes and medications or surgery.
- If you smoke, stop.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Lose weight if needed.
- Eat small meals.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes.
- Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal.
- Raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches by putting blocks of wood under the bedposts—just using extra pillows will not help.
Medications (brand and generic)
there are 3 main categories:
antacids -> neutralize acid
H2 blockers -> reduce acid
proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) -> stop acid production
- foaming agents
If you suffer from only occasional heartburn and have not been diagnosed with GERD,
nonprescription antacids or acid-reducing drugs (H2-blockers) will very likely provide relief.
e.g. Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums, Alka-Seltzer
These medicines can quickly relieve heartburn and "acid indigestion". But their effects don't last long. Antacids neutralize the acid in your stomach.
H2-blockers (acid-reducing drugs)
e.g. Zantac, Pepcid, Axid, Tagamet
Another class of drugs is also available over-the-counter (OTC) to treat mild, periodic heartburn and excess stomach acidity - H2-blockers. The H2-blockers take longer to work than antacids - 30 minutes to an hour - but they provide heartburn relief for up to 12 hours. Stronger doses of H2-blockers are also available by prescription, and all are available as lower-cost generics.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
e.g. Aciphex, Nexium, Protonix, Prilosec, Prevacid, available as prescription and OTC-drugs.
Studies show clearly that the PPIs reduce stomach acid better over time than antacids or H2-blockers. But remember, the PPIs are not intended for the immediate relief of heartburn. The antacids and H2-blockers actually do a better job at that. Rather, the main advantage of treatment with PPIs is reducing stomach acid for longer periods of time and treating people diagnosed with GERD.
PPIs work by blocking an enzyme that makes the stomach produce acid. PPIs are very effective and safe medicines. But not everyone needs one. Several of the PPIs are widely advertised to the public and promoted to physicians, especially Nexium. Many physicians believe this has led to overuse of the PPIs in the treatment of common occasional heartburn.
While the most popular PPIs do not differ in effectiveness or safety, they do differ in price. The average monthly costs ranges from $19 to over $200. The brand new updated consumer reports best buy drug has chosen generic OTC drug Prilosec 20mg as the best buy drug, taking effectiveness, safety, and cost into account.
Proton Pump Inhibitors
What about buying prescription drugs online? Read this article.
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Combat acid reflux with natural treatments for fast, effective relief.
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