As with any medical condition, there are many ways of treating acid reflux, or to giving it its full title, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Here we look at Antacids which can relieve acid reflux.
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Antacids are generally available without a doctor’s prescription and they relieve the symptoms of acid indigestion and heartburn (dyspepsia).
Antacids and Alignates
The usual ingredients of antacids are magnesium or aluminium and they work by neutralizing the acid produced in the stomach which causes indigestion and acid reflux.
This group often contains sodium alginate which forms a protective layer on the lining of the esophagus and stomach.
Inhibitors of proton pump
Inhibitors of the proton pump are drugs that turn off the system in the stomach called proton pump. It is this system that produces stomach acid.
These drugs are taken in the form of tablets or capsules, the powdered form which is to be diluted in water or injections are also used to treat stomach ulcers and a rare condition called Zollinger – Ellison syndrome, and acid reflux.
Omeprazole and lansoprazole are known as varieties of this particular type of medication, although there are several others.
Side effects are rare but may include diarrhoea or constipation, stomach pain, gas, drowsiness, dizziness and headache. In exceptional cases, a severe allergic reaction may occur.
This group of drugs acts by binding to the region and blocking H2 receptors on cells of the stomach which, when stimulated by the chemical naturally produced histamine, generates acid.
Ranitidine is the best known of this group of drugs, the others being Nizatidine, famotidine and cimetidine.
Side effects are rare, but some patients may show symptoms of diarrhoea, headache, dizziness and fatigue. Hair loss has been reported by lessees of cimetidine and nizatidine, and sweating too.
Both inhibitors of proton pump H2 receptor antagonists are used in conjunction with antibiotics to get rid of the infection with Helicobacter pylori, which can cause stomach ulcers and duodenitis.
Caution: If symptoms of heartburn persist, consult your doctor. They could be a sign of something much more serious than indigestion. Never embark on a path of medication without consulting a doctor. And never take prescription drugs for someone else.