Acid Reflux Medication Health Risks

Some people can treat their GERD symptoms with lifestyle changes, like eating fewer fatty and spicy foods. But these changes may not work for everyone. If you make lifestyle changes and your symptoms don’t improve within a few weeks, your doctor may suggest you try OTC treatments. Most doctors do not believe that one drug is significantly more effective than the others in managing GERD.

Here’s what you need to know about these three distinct issues. Don’t miss the 21 health secrets your gut is trying to tell you. If a child or teen develops heartburn after eating, his or her doctor may prescribe an antacid and an H2 blocker. The antacids neutralize stomach acid, and the H2 blockers stop the stomach from creating acid.

For some people, acid reflux symptoms may be relieved by changing habits, diet, and lifestyle. The following steps may reduce reflux. Although many people can relieve their reflux disease symptoms by changes in their habits, diet, and lifestyle, others need to consult their health-care professional. Acid reflux usually feels like a painful or burning sensation in your stomach, upper abdomen behind the breastbone, esophagus, and even up into your throat. You may have the feeling of a hot, acidic, or sour tasting fluid at the back of the throat or a sore throat.

Your doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera (endoscope) down your throat, to examine the inside of your esophagus and stomach. Test results can often be normal when reflux is present, but an endoscopy may detect inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) or other complications. An endoscopy can also be used to collect a sample of tissue (biopsy) to be tested for complications such as Barrett’s esophagus. If your symptoms aren’t very frequent or severe, OTC medications may work well. The OTC forms of H2 blockers and PPIs have lower dosage levels than the prescription versions.

Secondly, the sodium content of baking soda is not healthy, particularly for people with heart problems, high blood pressure, or kidney disease. There are other antacids that will work just as well with fewer consequences. If prescription medications are causing reflux to worsen, then there are two options. First, try to switch the offending medication to something else.

Studies like this talk about the risk per patient-year of follow up. For example if one follows 100 patients for 10 years, that is 1,000 patient-years of follow-up. This study suggests that the risk of a hip fracture that is specifically related to PPI use is about 2 per 1,000 patient-years. In the last few years, researchers have been able to evaluate the side effects and complications of medications by using large databases of millions of patients.

  • Here are more foods that can wreak havoc on your digestive system.
  • Elevating the head of your mattress six to eight inches when you sleep can help prevent night time heartburn.
  • These work on an as-needed-basis by neutralizing stomach acid.
  • 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.
  • They come in the forms of chewable tablets, dissolving tablets, and liquid.
  • Less acid in your stomach lowers your chance of getting heartburn.

This may lead to reduced effectiveness of ketoconazole and an increase in digoxin toxicity. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) reduce the production of acid by blocking the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid.

Most people’s symptoms of reflux can be relieved with proton pump inhibitors. PPIs should be taken 30-60 minutes before a meal (usually breakfast). Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are medicines that reduce the amount of stomach acid by inhibiting (holding back) the system that ‘pumps’ acid into the stomach. Doctors consider proton pump inhibitors to be the most effective medicines for suppressing the production of stomach acid. Antacids are used to relieve symptoms in mild reflux disease and should be taken when symptoms occur.

most effective over the counter acid reflux medication

The terms may seem to be used interchangeably, but there are differences. And your treatment options differ, too, depending on what you have. They can heal the esophageal lining in most people with GERD. Doctors often prescribe PPIs for long-term GERD treatment.

If you’re relatively young and you describe what sounds like typical heartburn, your doctor will be fairly certain you have GERD and might suggest prescription-strength H2 blockers or PPIs. “They’re among the safest drugs available when used short term,” says Dr. Spechler. “The side effects we see with short-term use-things like headaches and diarrhea-are mild and easily managed. However, there are potential risks for PPIs when they are taken long term.” Some of the problems include magnesium and vitamin B12 deficiencies, severe diarrhea, kidney inflammation, dementia, and bone fractures.

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