Acid reflux medications
Acid reflux medications
You have probably suffered from heartburn, most people have. Lots of folk I know carry there heartburn medication in the pockets just in case it suddenly hits. They know that when you get acid reflux pain it can be very disabling.
So acid reflux medications are an easy solution, just pop a couple of antacids in your mouth and you are ok……. At least for a short while.
With a lot of folk having heartburn, taking an antacid is quite acceptable. But it may hide a more sinister problem Gastroesophageal reflux disease “GERD”.
If you have heartburn on a regular basis say more than twice a week it is imperative that you see your doctor for a diagnosis. Taking antacids regularly may give you short term relief but they can expose you to complications because they contain either or both aluminium or magnesium. A drug reference may only tell you what they are used for but not the complications if over used.
If you have severe heartburn symptom on a regular basis you will probably have to have a change of lifestyle. Your doctor can give you the advice you require, and he may also send you for tests if your acid reflux symptoms are severe.
If you are diagnosed with acid reflux disease you may also be sent for endoscopy to see if you have a hiatus hernia or damage to your esophagus reflux may have caused.
Hiatal hernias are one of the problems that may cause heartburn. Hiatal hernia treatment is not usually required on its own but you may need acid reflux medicines to combat the problems that a hiatal hernia can cause to your esophagus.
Normal antacids can neutralize your stomach acid for a short period of time, but you would have to take them frequently, say once an hour to neutralize your acid completely. To combat severe GERD symptoms more effective medicines are required.
Heartburn medication primary aims
There are two primary aims for the treatment of GERD. First is for acid reflux relief. Preventing acid reflux pain improves the sufferer of GERD in everyday life. The second is to prevent the sufferer from developing more serious complications. These include Barrett’s esophagus and esophagitis two major chronic conditions you can get as a result of acid reflux disease. (More on these subjects in another article).
Acid Reflux medication Types
The first medications that came about for the specific job of reducing gastric acid are called histamine 2-receptor antagonists (H2 antagonists). They work by blocking the histamine created by the stomach. Stomach acid is made more acidic by histamine and by partially stopping the production of histamine; H2 antagonists suppress the creation of stomach acid.
The main advantage this medicine has over antacids is the effect of them lasts a lot longer, 6-10 hours as opposed to antacids 1-2 hours. They have a greater desired effect and can be taken before a meal to reduce the chance of heartburn happening.
Cimetidine (tagamet) was the first H2 antagonist from which later and better examples of the drug were produced.
After a few different H2 antagonists hit the market a more refined example called Ranitidine. Ranatidine (common brand name Zantac) has a far improved tolerability (fewer adverse drug reactions). It also has a longer lasting action and has 10 times the activity of Cimetidine.
Zantac (Ranitidine) has always had a place in my own medicine cabinet co combat my own acid reflux symptoms.
The latest type of drug developed specifically for acid related diseases such as GERD are called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI, s).
PPI, s are the most potent inhibitors of stomach acid available. They have largely superseded H2 antagonist type acid reflux medication and are one of the best selling drugs in the world because of there greater desired effect and safety. They give a much longer lasting and greater reduction of stomach acid by shutting off the production of gastric acid more completely and efficiently.
Proton Pump inhibitors work by blocking the secretion of acid from the enzyme system cells (gastric proton pump). This is the terminal step in acid production and by targeting the gastric proton pump this type of drug is significantly more effective than H2 antagonists. It reduces the gastric acid hence the symptoms of acid reflux by 99%, and can last from upward of 24 hours.
This reduction of stomach acid is not only good for stopping heartburn, but also aids in the healing of duodenal ulcers in the stomach. It will also aid in the healing and protecting of any inflammation or damage to the esophagus due to the effects of acid reflux disease “GERD”.
PPI, s are used where H2 antagonists cannot adequately relieve the symptoms of GERD or when the complications of acid reflux disease exists.
I have personally been taking a PPI for many years to combat GERD and can tell you from my own experience that they are a life changing medicine. There are a number of different PPI, s on the market and the one I was personally prescribed by my doctor Omeprazole (prolosec) has stood me in good stead. It only has to be taken once a day. I take mine when I first get up in the morning and about one hour before I eat my first meal.
I now buy my acid reflux medications online and have never had any problems with this system.
Rx Most Wanted online Pharmacy For all your Heartburn medication and free prescription with your order. Click the heartburn tab on there site to view all their acid reflux medications.