Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a doctor’s prescription. H2 receptor blockers are most commonly used to treat gastritis, or inflamed stomach, and to treat peptic ulcers. Peptic ulcers are painful sores that form in the lining of the stomach, lower esophagus, or duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine. They often develop as a result of inflammation and excess stomach acid. Doctors may also recommend H2 receptor blockers to keep peptic ulcers from returning. If you have peptic ulcers or GERD, your doctor will likely recommend that you avoid taking specific medicines and that you make certain lifestyle changes to ease your symptoms.
Most of the side effects associated with H2 receptor blockers are mild and usually subside as a person takes the medication over time. Only 1.5 percent of people stop taking H2 receptor blockers due to the side effects. H2 receptor blockers are also frequently used to relieve the symptoms of gastroesophageal they said reflux disease (GERD) GERD is a chronic form of acid reflux, which causes acidic stomach contents to flow back up into the esophagus. The frequent exposure to stomach acid can irritate the esophagus and lead to uncomfortable symptoms, such as heartburn, nausea, or trouble swallowing.
PPIs block acid production in your stomach. They’re the most powerful drugs for reducing acid production and are most appropriate for people with more frequent heartburn. They’re typically the most effective treatment for GERD. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about persistent acid reflux symptoms. Your doctor can review your diet and help you identify trigger foods. If necessary, they can work with you to create a nutrition and weight management plan. You may wonder if an OTC or prescription GERD medication would be better for you. The right choice depends on how frequent and severe your symptoms are.
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. If you use an OTC medication more than twice a week for your GERD, or if your symptoms don’t improve with treatment, call your doctor. Frequent, severe symptoms may be a sign of a more serious problem. And they could get worse over time if left untreated. In these cases, you may need a prescription medication.