In this article we are going to take a look at treating Acid Reflux with Medications.
How to treat Acid Reflux with Medication – Antacids and alignates
Antacids are generally available without a doctor’s prescription and relieve the symptoms of acid indigestion and heartburn (dyspepsia).
What is an antacid? – Antacid are basic compounds that help reduce the acidity in the stomach. The stomach produces acid to help digest food, however sometimes there is an overproduction of this acid which in turn can lead to the irritation (Sometimes referred to as “Heart Burn”) of the esophagus.
The usual ingredients of antacids are magnesium or aluminium and they work by neutralising the acid produced in the stomach which is the cause of indigestion and acid reflux.
This group often contain sodium alginate which forms a protective coating over the lining of the gullet and the stomach.
How to treat Acid Reflux with Medication – Proton pump inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors are drugs which shut down the system in the stomach called the proton pump. It is this system which produces acid in the stomach, the leaking of which into the oesophagus causes acid reflux.
What are proton pump inhibitors? – Doctors prescribe PPIs to treat people with GERD, ulcers in the stomach or intestine, or other digestive disorders that may cause excess stomach acid.
These drugs are taken in the form of tablets or capsules, as a powder to be diluted in water or as injections and are used to treat stomach ulcers and a rather rare condition called zollinger-ellison syndrome as well as acid reflux.
Omeprazole and lansoprazole are well known varieties of this particular type of drug although there are several others.
How to treat Acid Reflux with Medication – Side Effects
Side effects are rare although they can include diarrhoea or constipation, stomach pains, wind, drowsiness, dizziness and headaches. In unusual cases, a severe allergic reaction can result.
When I did a research on this I could find a number of possible side effects such as Headache, Diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, dry mouth, severe constipation, big abdomen, back pain, chest pain, anemia, allergy, hypertension, tachycardia, goiter, tinnitus, facial edema, conjunctivitis, abnormal vision, great depression, dizziness, hypertonia, nervousness, cystitis, insomnia, migraine, anorexia, acne, dermatitis, glycosuria, hyperuricemia, hyponatremia, arthritis, tongue edema, ulcerative stomatitis, impotence and some others.
My personal experience with omeprazole was seriously raised blood pressure and severe head pain. However, replacing omeprazole with ranitidine and taking blood pressure reduction medication for a couple of weeks sorted out that problem.
How to treat Acid Reflux with Medication – H2-receptor antagonists
This group of drugs works by attaching to and blocking the h2 receptor area on stomach cells which, when stimulated by the naturally produced chemical, histamine, generates acid.
Histamine2, a common chemical in the body, signals the stomach to make acid. H2 Blockers oppose histamine’s action and reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces.
Ranitidine is the best known of this drug group, others being nizatidine, famotidine and cimetidine.
Side effects are few but can display as diarrhoea, headaches, dizziness and tiredness. Loss of hair has been reported by takers of cimetidine and with nizatidine, sweating.
Both proton pump inhibitors and h2 receptor antagonists are used together with antibiotics to get rid of helicobacter pylori infection which can cause stomach ulcers and duodenitis.
How to treat Acid Reflux with Medication – See your doctor
Warning: if symptoms of heartburn persist, consult your doctor. They could be indicative of something much more serious than indigestion. Never embark on a course of medication without consulting a doctor. Never take medicines prescribed for somebody else.
I hope you enjoyed this article on Treating Acid Reflux with Medication. Comments, Suggestions? Leave a comment below.
- Discussing Acid Reflux on The View With Barbara Walters & Whoopi Goldberg (drjorgemd.wordpress.com)
- A Look Into The Symptoms of Acid Reflux (slideshare.net)