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