Which Acid Reflux Medications Are Right for You?
There are a variety of medications available to treat acid reflux. Most acid reflux patients are looking for quick relief because of the pain associated with this disease.
While we recommend trying to ‘go natural’, and work with nature, we also understand that sometimes immediate relief is desired. So we are offering some info on over the counter and prescription medicines.
While using them, we recommend researching natural remedies to help avoid taking pharmaceutical medicines as far as possible, as there are many negative side effects from these products
Acid reflux occurs when the stomach acids rise up into the esophagus. This is also known as gastro esophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
While the stomach has a protective lining to prevent it from getting burned by the stomach acids, the esophagus doesn’t. Thus, it feels the burning sensation of the acid when it comes into contact with it.
There are several over the counter medications you may purchase without a prescription. Of course, it goes without saying that you must adhere closely to the instructions on the box.
Do not take more than the stipulated amount. The temptation to take an extra tablet or two may be there if the pain is bad. Do not do this. In the long run, you will be worsening the situation.
Generally, most of these medications are antacids. An antacid neutralizes the stomach acids and by doing so, the pain from heartburn, acid indigestion and upset stomachs are relieved.
One of the active ingredients in several antacids is simethicone. This helps to eliminate excess gas which may cause distension in the stomach and force acids up the esophageal tract.
Common medications you may have heard of are Alka-Seltzer, Mylanta, Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, Gaviscon, Pepto-Bismol, etc.
If the medication is in liquid form, then consume as directed. If you need to chew the medication first, then chew it thoroughly so that there is faster relief.
Medications work in different ways.
While antacids work to neutralize the acids, other types of medication try to relieve the pain in other ways.
For example, some medications are oral suspension medications. That means these medications form a lining on the inside of the esophagus to protect it from the acids. This is similar to the stomach having a lining. However, once the lining that these medications provide wears off, it’s back to square one and the pain will return.
Another type of medication is known as H2 receptor blockers.
These are more effective than antacids or oral suspension type medicines. You may get these over the counter without a prescription. H2 receptor blockers shut off the production of acid in the stomach for a while. They are for mild acid reflux and do provide longer lasting relief. Ideally, they are best taken before bed.
Proton pump inhibitors are another type of medication that not only blocks acid production but also helps to heal damaged esophageal tissue. These are usually prescribed by doctors, though some versions may be purchased over the counter.
There are other stronger medications available that can be used to treat acid reflux.
However, only your doctor will be able to prescribe these. A good point to note is that it is better to prevent acid reflux symptoms from occurring. Medicines are only for treatment and not prevention.
There are several ways you can keep acid reflux at bay. Natural ways that will not take much effort or money but will make a world of difference. Changes in your diet and lifestyle for example, may help more with your acid reflux than any antacid ever could.
Exercise due diligence and do your homework on acid reflux. You will learn ways to help yourself and prevent the symptoms from occurring. Then you can live without pain or worry.