Should you keep taking that heartburn medication?

Although generally well-tolerated, these medications might cause diarrhea, headache, nausea and vitamin B-12 deficiency. Chronic use might increase the risk of hip fracture. Surgery for GERD may involve a procedure to reinforce the lower esophageal sphincter called Nissen fundoplication. In this procedure, the surgeon wraps the top of the stomach around the lower esophagus. This reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter, making it less likely that acid will back up in the esophagus.

A ring of tiny magnetic beads is wrapped around the junction of the stomach and esophagus. The magnetic attraction between the beads is strong enough to keep the junction closed to refluxing acid, but weak enough to allow food to pass through. The Linx device can be implanted using minimally invasive surgery. Prescription-strength proton pump inhibitors. These include esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex) and dexlansoprazole (Dexilant).

Because lifestyle changes and medications work well in most people, surgery is done on only a small number of people. For some people, acid reflux symptoms may be relieved by changing habits, diet, and lifestyle.

The diaphragm and a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter usually prevent heartburn. However, this muscle can sometimes relax and leave the food pipe unprotected from stomach acid.

If the inflammation is severe, ulcers can form. The H2 receptor blockers modestly decrease stomach acid production. They are inexpensive, so some managed care organizations often insist that their patients take them instead of the more expensive and more effective PPIs.

These drugs have been heavily advertised, and many people today routinely take the “little purple pill” and similar medicines for months or even years at a time without getting a prescription, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Acid reflux is an uncomfortable condition in which stomach acid flows back into the food pipe. This article investigates which drinks will make it worse, and what you should drink to minimize symptoms.

Antacids, such as Mylanta, Rolaids and Tums, may provide quick relief. But antacids alone won’t heal an inflamed esophagus damaged by stomach acid. Overuse of some antacids can cause side effects, such as diarrhea or sometimes kidney problems. The LINX device is an expandable ring of metal beads that keeps stomach acid from refluxing into the esophagus, but allows food to pass into the stomach. All of these over-the-counter medicines, to a varying degree, can relieve the symptoms of heartburn.

  • Consult your physician before taking an OTC to treat heartburn if you are currently taking any prescription drugs.
  • One of the most important tips for dealing with heartburn is making sure your symptoms aren’t signs of anything more serious.
  • Heartburn happens to lots of us when we have an especially spicy, fatty, or heavy meal.
  • To find out which medicine is right for you, talk to your family doctor.
  • Complications of acid reflux can include any of the following.
  • Over the past five years, the federal Food and Drug Administration has issued numerous warnings about proton pump inhibitors, saying that long-term use, defined as a year or more, increases the risk of hip, wrist and spine fractures (though studies have found an increase in bone fractures with use over shorter periods).

What are the Differences Between Frequent Heartburn, Acid Reflux, and GERD?

Antacids are medicines that counteract (neutralise) the acid in your stomach to relieve indigestion and heartburn. Use two pillows to elevate your head above your stomach at night, keeping stomach acid from entering your esophagus.

I am an older adult on multiple medications. I have developed problems with reflux. What are the common medications that may affect the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES)?

Visit our Acid Reflux / GERD category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Acid Reflux / GERD. There is a range of measures people can put in place to prevent and treat the symptoms of heartburn. Not all remedies work or are safe for everyone, however. It is important to speak with a doctor about the best solution for you.

best otc antacid for acid reflux

Patient Care & Health Info

Learn about treating heartburn, when to see a doctor, the difference with GERD, and what can be done to prevent it. The possible complications of heartburn include ulcers, bleeding, and GERD. Changes to cells in the food pipe may also occur, leading to a condition called Barrett’s esophagus that increases the risk of cancer of the food pipe. In addition to these treatments, there are some lifestyle and dietary changes you can make to lessen heartburn or GERD symptoms.

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