Acid reflux relief
There are a number of different ways to try to get relief from acid reflux, and this page outlines some of the more commonly used treatments and preventive strategies.
There are several different lifestyle elements that can affect acid reflux disease. For example, smoking can worsen symptoms in some people, because of the chemicals in the cigarettes. Being overweight can also cause problems, as the extra weight you are carrying can weigh down on the stomach.
If you have a bad or hunched posture then this can mean your body is naturally encouraging reflux just through gravity. This can be a particular problem at night, and some people try to raise the head of the bed or use a special pillow to try to keep their head higher as they sleep.
The side effects of some medications can increase acid reflux symptoms, either because they cause irritation to the oesophagus or because they cause the spincter muscle in the throat to relax.
Some drugs which may have this effect are aspirin, ibuprofen, diazepam, theophylline, nitrates, and calcium channel blockers.
Medication for acid reflux relief
The most common medications for the treatment of acid reflux are alkali tablets or liquids, which neutralise the acid. These are known as "antacids", and are usually used for mild symptoms. They are generally bought over-the-counter, although some are available on prescription.
For more severe or long-term symptoms there are are range of acid-suppressing drugs available. These fall into two main groups: proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine receptor blockers (H2 blockers).
Both of these types of medication lead to less acid being produced by the stomach. Examples of PPIs include omeprazole, pantoprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, and esomeprazole. Examples of H2 blockers include cimetidine, ranitidine, famotidine and nizatidine.
"An estimated 15 million Americans suffer from heartburn every day, but not everyone will need "the purple pill" (Nexium) or another Proton-Pump Inhibitor (PPI) drug to treat it."
"Nexium, one of the most widely-prescribed PPIs is also the most expensive at $240 per month (the cash price you would pay if your insurance did not cover it). Not surprisingly, Nexium was also a top-selling drug in 2008 at a whooping $4.8 billion."
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