Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a doctor’s prescription. Acid reflux could be the backward flow of stomach acid in to the esophagus – the tube that connects the throat and stomach. Acid reflux is much more particularly known as gastroesophageal reflux. During an episode of acid reflux, you might taste regurgitated meals or sour liquid in the back of your mouth or really feel a burning sensation inside your chest (heartburn). Those most likely to be affected by acid reflux are people who are obese, have scleroderma, or have a hiatal hernia. It may also occur during pregnancy.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are another type of medication used to reduce stomach acid and treat acid reflux or GERD. Examples of PPIs include esomeprazole (Nexium) and pantoprazole (Protonix). Heartburn that has not improved after 2 weeks of treatment with OTC medicines. Some medicines can worsen reflux. Talk with your doctor about alternatives. 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. With your pediatrician’s approval, adding a small amount of infant rice cereal to formula or breast milk may be an option to lessen spitting up. Thickening the food is thought to help stop stomach contents from sloshing up into the esophagus. This option has not been shown to decrease other reflux symptoms. Try chewing gum at night. This can boost the production of saliva , which neutralizes stomach acid.
To find out which medicine is right for you, talk to your family doctor. They can tell you about the benefits and risks. Antacids and acid reducers rarely cause side effects. If they do, the side effects usually are minor and go away on their own. These may include headaches, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea. Proton pump inhibitors work more effectively than H2 blockers and help most people top article with GERD, the Cleveland Clinic explains. They control acid production to give damaged tissue in the esophagus enough time to heal, notes. They may eliminate symptoms in people with esophageal ulcers. Over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors include lansoprazole and omeprazole. Some GERD patients, however, may need prescription strength proton pump inhibitors to relieve symptoms.
Surgery may be an option if medications and lifestyle adjustments don’t help ease your baby’s symptoms and if your baby isn’t gaining weight or has other complications. Tightening the LES makes it more stable so that less acid flows back into the esophagus. The need for this type of surgery is rare, especially in infants. The procedure, called fundoplication , is usually reserved for babies whose reflux causes severe breathing problems or prevents growth. Lifestyle changes , along with medications, can help lead to a better quality of life while also minimizing damage to the esophagus.