Posts Tagged ‘Acid Reflux Medication’
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, more commonly known as acid reflux, is a stomach dysfunction that involves the leaking of fluids from the stomach to the esophagus. Acid Reflux has many known symptoms. Some of these symptoms include swollen throat glands and pain, heartburn, impeded swallowing and breathing. A few acid reflux sufferers only experience these symptoms after meals or at bedtime. However, there are the unlucky majority who constantly suffer from the aforementioned symptoms. This constant suffering can cause disorders that are more serious. For example, persistent acid reflux sufferers are more susceptible to Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. To stop acid reflux from escalating from a nuisance to a serious disease, acid reflux sufferers should take medication.
Typical acid reflux medication will regulate the stomach’s gastric acid. Since acid reflux is usually caused by too much pepsin and digestive fluids in the stomach, it is often treated the same as an ulcer or gastritis.
Acid reflux is most commonly treated by antacids. Antacids serve to relieve the symptoms for people with acid reflux. However, there are some drawbacks. Antacids can only work temporarily and will only work on mild cases of acid reflux.
Acid reducers are much more effective than antacids. Acid reducers are often referred to as H2 blockers or H2 receptor antagonists . Acid reducers actually decrease the strength and occurrences of heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. Unlike antacids, which only work for a couple of hours, acid reducers can stave off acid reflux for the whole day. Acid reducers are available in prescription strength and over the counter.
Also, one can take acid reducers for any length of time. Ranitidine is the acid reducer that is most often described. Ranitidine is quite useful in cases of acid reflux that is not complex. In fact, ranitidine can vanquish acid reflux symptoms of most people after a six week course. Cimetidine or Famotidine is prescribed for more serious cases of acid reflux. Ongoing treatment with acid reducers usually reveals mild side effects. Some examples of these side effects include headache, exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. Fortunately, reducing or suspending the acid reducer, as a treatment will cause the symptoms to disappear.
Acid reducers will not work for every person who has acid reflux disease. Acid reducers will not usually work on esophagitis or Garrett’s esophagus. In these cases, proton pump inhibitors are often prescribed. Proton pump inhibitors block the stomach’s gastric acid production temporarily.
Through a process of normal digestion, partly digested food travels from the stomach towards the small intestines. But then, some individuals tend to experience the other way. Food from the stomach goes back up to the esophagus. This disorder is what we refer to as acid reflux.
Among the known symptoms of acid reflux are troubles in swallowing food, regurgitation, heartburn, asthma, dental erosion, chest pain, dyspepsia, hoarseness, vomiting, etcetera.
If left untreated, a person with acid reflux can suffer for months. Drug treatment, however, is an important part of treating the condition.
Among the medications commonly used are:
Antacids. The use of these is to balance out or at most times decrease the acid level in your digestive tract. This is used to relieve mild heartburns and indigestions. Antacids, which are commonly made of calcium, aluminum and magnesium, also shield the stomach lining by inducing mucous and bicarbonate secretion. These are probably the cheapest and most accessible cure for acid reflex. They are too the basic medications that are prescribed by doctors to relieve acid reflux symptoms.
Histamine Blockers. Histamine blockers or anti-histamines are known to have acid suppressing properties which are important in preventing acid reflex. Histamine, on the other hand, is a bodily substance that stimulates stomach acid secretion. Like antacids, anti-histamines can also be acquired without doctor’s prescription. However, one would have to wait 30 minutes to one and a half hour for the much awaited relief. But the good thing about anti-histamine is that it provides relief much longer than antacids which can extend from 6 to 24 hours. Extreme cases of acid reflux might require one to have two dosages daily. Some studies show that anti-histamine also relieves symptoms of asthma.
In 2001 though, research was conducted where it was found out that histamine blockers rarely relieve heartburn and dyspepsia indications.
Proton Pump Inhibitors. Like the previous two, proton pump inhibitors also lessen stomach acid secretion by targeting the stomach lining cells which are responsible for acid production. But then, studies have found that proton pump inhibitors use has some side effects. Among these are headache, allergies and itching, nausea and diarrhea.
Drugs which protect the gastrointestinal lining are also administered to acid reflux patients. Mucus lining protectors are attached to the ulcer crater and serves as a screen from damages which digestive juices might impose. However, drugs of this kind should be taken in moderation as it is known to have side effects such as constipation and other digestive problems.
Anti-spasm drugs, as well, are useful for providing relief for both acid and non-acid reflux. Gamma-amino acid butyric acid agonist is a kind of anti-spasm drug used to lessen the occurrence of spasms. Another good thing about anti-spasm medications is that it also heightens esophageal sphincter pressure, thus decreasing the possibility of food from going back up to the esophagus.