Heartburn Medicine &
There is a wide range
of antacids and heartburn
medicine available by the drug companies. Some of these
can be purchased at the local pharmacy while the other require a prescription from the doctor. All of these
drugs work by trying to treat the symptoms and conditions caused by stomach acid and either low or high
levels of acidity. The stomach produces an acid (hydrochloric acid) which helps break down the food
which you eat, or to be exact, the proteins within that food. That acid is what causes the stomach to be
acidic and normally at a pH
level between 2 and 3. The pH levels are a measurement of acidity
where the lower the number, the higher the level of the acidity. The scale runs
from 0 to 14, and the
score in the middle is considered neutral. There are many ways in which people attempt to lower their acidity
levels and this is where the alkaline diet planted its roots.
The different parts of the digestive system including the esophagus, duodenum and the
stomach are usually protected from the acidity by numerous
protective mechanisms. When something goes wrong, these parts become damaged and give rise to many acid reflux
symptoms such as heartburn, abdominal pain, sore
throat and other GERD symptoms.
medications are broken down into a couple different genres. There are the
gentleover the counter
antacids along withhistamine H2
blockers, and on the other side of the spectrum the
strong prescriptionproton pump
inhibitors along with theprokinetic agents.
None of the medications listed actually cure heartburn or reflux as there is no known cure. All they try to
do is control the symptoms which allows healing to occur. All antacids can interfere with other medications
if taken at the same time.
Antacids & (over the counter) otc heartburn
The most common ingredients in antacids are aluminum salts,
calcium carbonate, magnesium
salts and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). These can be
bought over the counter and come in the forms of liquids, chewable tablets or pills. These work by either creating
a foamy barrier on the top of the stomach acid, helping contain the gas bubbles in order to prevent burping or
simply trying to lower the acidity to a more manageable level.
Take according to manufacturers directions or as directed by
Originally introduced as prescription pills in the 1970s, now
are allowed to sell over the counter as the drug companies reduced their strength levels. They work by blocking the
histamine receptors during the act of the digestion which suppresses acid production. As these drugs may mask the
presence of a stomach malignancy, a throughout physical examination is suggested before taking
For serious cases of
heartburn (occur twice a week) but do not take for any longer than two weeks without doctors approval.
- Tagamet HB
- Mylanta AR
- Pepcid AC
- heartburn prescription
- Proton pump inhibitors
These drugs debuted in the early 1990s and were touted to be
much more effective than histamine blockers. Once ingested,
they enter the blood stream and bond with the proton pumps in order to inactivate them for one to three days. When
this happens, the actual production of stomach acid ceases and thus the injured parts have plenty of time to heal.
As many people simply cannot afford them due to insufficient coverage, it really begs to question and ask for an
overhaul of our current health care system. Many studies conducted by the medical field has proven for these to be
quite effective in battling GERD symptoms as well as treating
an erosive esophagitis.
As people have different body chemistry, the doctor might go
through a bunch of these in order to find the one that works right for the patient.
These drugs work by expediting the digestion and movement of
the food into the colon. Some people find that it takes them a long time to digest the food and this in turn gives
chance for the acid to splash into the esophagus causing
unpleasant symptoms. In
certain cases the agents also strengthen the LES, but that is
really dependent on the individual involved as we are all different.
- Motilium (only available in Canada and Europe with less
side effects than any US counterpart)
- Propulsid (initially approved by FDA but later taken off
the market due to serious side effects)
- Benzamide, Cisapride, Domepridone
- Erythromycin, Itopride,
- Prucalopride, Renzapride
- Tegaserod, Mitemcinal