Do you need acid reflux medication to stop your acid reflux? Understand how acid reflux drugs work with this easy-to-digest overview:
Histamine H2-receptor antagonists, also known as H-2-blockers, stop your stomach acid before it has a chance to be formed. They do this by turning off the histamine receptors in your stomach lining. H-2 blockers such as famotidine (Pepcid),ranitidine (Zantac) and cimetidine now sold over-the-counter. Stronger versions like nizatidine are available by perscription.
Proton pump inhibitors or PPI's switch off acid production by blocking your 'acid pumps'. These pumps drive protons into the stomach. The more protons inside your stomach, the more 'sour' becomes your stomach content. Examples of over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors include Prilosec, Zegerid, Prevacid (lanzoprazole), and Aciphex . Others like nexium ('the purple pill' ) and protonix require a prescription.
Antacids are the first-aid solution for a sour stomach. Antacids are salts that neutralize your stomach immediately by reacting with the acid. A simple and cheap solution, that is available over-the-counter. Maalox, Tums, Rolaids and Mylanta, all neutralize your stomach acid. They come in pills, liquids or tablets
Prokinetics provide fast stomach emptying. Evacuation of stomach content gets pressure off your stomach, which helps your stomach vale to keep all acid inside. Examples are benzamide, cisapride, mirtazapine and domperidone.
The use of domperidone, like motilium, is restricted because it can cause heart problems. It is still available, but only on prescription.
Raft forming agents, like gaviscon, form a foam that floats on top of your gastric content. This foam forms a protective coating that prevents acid to flow back into the esophagus. It keeps the acid where it belongs and that is inside your stomach. Products like gaviscon don't enter your bloodstream and have no general effect on your body.
That is the reason that they are a popular acid reflux medication among future mama's.
You can buy Gaviscon liquids or tablets. Pieces of tablets get easily stuck between your teeth. Therefore, liquids are easier, especially when you have acid reflux at night.
During the day, tablets are more convenient. You can put them in your pocket or purse and pop a pill whenever you need one.
What is the most efficient medication for you? That is the big question of course. It all depends on how frequently you are having symptoms.
Do you really need pills? A growing amount of evidence suggest that acid reflux drugs are prescribed too easily. Raft forming agents like gaviscon and antacids are harmless and efficient, but don't provide a long-term solution.
Stronger medication, like acid blockers, can become addictive and have important side effects . Think twice and consult your docter before you start taking products like nexiam.
Acid reflux remedies can help you without popping pills.
If you have recurrent symptoms of acid reflux, consult your doctor. It is not wise to start with self-medication if you haven't passed a medical check and, more specifically a gastroscopy.
Are you on acid reflux drugs? Did your doctor inform you about possible side effect? Do you find your drugs hard to get off?
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