Most of us experience the occasional bout of heartburn, so we are familiar with the painful burning sensation in the chest and the sour taste in the mouth. Imagine if you had to grapple with those symptoms multiple times a week. That is the case for patients suffering with acid reflux disease, not to be confused with kidney reflux that primarily affects the urinary tract. While the condition is rarely serious, it can certainly put a damper on one's quality of life. The good news is that there are many effective medications available for acid reflux disease that keep painful symptoms at bay and allow sufferers to enjoy daily activities once again.
The first line of defense in treating acid reflux disease is usually an over the counter antacid. These medications are helpful in neutralizing stomach acids to cut down on painful symptoms. Common names of antacids include Tums, Rolaids and Maalox. The benefit of these medications is that they generally work fairly quickly. The main drawback is that the effects do not last for very long. Long term use of antacids can also lead to unpleasant side effects like diarrhea or constipation.
H-2 receptor blockers are usually the next step in treating acid reflux disease. these medications are found under commercial names like Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac. The medicines work on acid reflux disease by reducing the amount of acid the stomach produces, making it less likely that acid will back up into the esophagus. While these medications don't take effect as quickly as antacids, they can provide much longer relief. Some doctors advise their patient to take a combination of antacids and H-2 receptor blockers for their acid reflux disease to get the best of both worlds.
Probably the best known proton pump inhibitor is Prilosec, which is available both over the counter and by prescription. Patients usually begin with the over the counter medication and move to prescription strength if the first is not effective. These medications are particularly effective if the acid reflux disease has caused damage to the esophageal lining; since they block acid production so healing can take place. One proton pump inhibitor, Prilosec Complete, includes both acid blocking medication and an antacid for most effective relief.
Acid reflux disease is a painful condition that can get in the way of daily life. The good news is that there are many effective medications for acid reflux disease that can prevent symptoms and help patients enjoy daily activities once again.