What Are Cures for Acid Reflux?

Q:
What are cures for acid reflux?

A:
Your doctor will first advise you to make changes in lifestyle and try over-the-counter medications. If you’re not responding to these after a couple of weeks, the doctor may recommend prescription medication and surgery.

Over-the-counter medications include:

  • Medications to reduce acid production. Examples are Tagamet HB, Pepcid AC Axid AR and Zantac. They don’t work very quickly, but they work for longer.
  • Antacids that neutralize stomach acid. They include Mylanta, Rolaids and Tums. They provide quick relief, but overuse of them can bring side effects.
  • Medications that block acid production and heal the esophagus. Prevacid 24 HR, Prilosec OTC, and Zegerid OTC fall in this category.

Prescription medications include:

  • Medication to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter. It works by making the LES relax less frequently.
  • Prescription-strength proton pump inhibitors. Well-tolerated. Side effects include headache, nausea and hip fracture.
  • Prescription-strength H-2-receptor blockers. They are well-tolerated. But using them for the long-term may cause bone fractures and vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Surgery. This is a good choice if you wish to avoid long-term medication use. Consult your doctor for advice.

 

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.