medication for gerd

November 1, 2011

Medication for GERD

GERD is gastro esophageal reflux disease, a digestive problem that is chronic and is triggered by stomach acids or bile backing up into the esophagus, or food pipe. This acid backing up into the esophagus will irritate the esophagus lining and cause heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. This condition is considered chronic when it occurs more than two times a week and is called GERD.

When a person swallows food the muscles surrounding the bottom of the esophagus will relax so that food can flow into the stomach naturally. Then these muscles will close after the food has entered the stomach. If these muscles are weak the acids in the stomach can back-up into the esophagus. This is what causes heartburn and GERD. When these acids continually back-up the esophagus can become inflamed which can result in bleeding problems. This inflammation can also make it difficult to breathe.

GERD Medications

Most people can handle normal heartburn but GERD, or constant heartburn, can disrupt a person?s daily living. Some conditions that contribute to GERD include obesity, smoking, pregnancy, asthma, diabetes, hernias, scleroderma and dry mouth. Managing these conditions should be the first step to curing GERD problems.

Medications for GERD include a combination of acid relievers and reducers, as well as medications that block the acid and heal the esophagus. These can include over-the-counter medications, prescription medications and natural remedies.

Over the Counter Medications

  • Antacids will neutralize acids in the stomach. These acid reducers will ease an inflamed esophagus, but using them constantly can result in constipation or diarrhea. Medications include Maalox, Rolaids, Tums, Mylanta or Gelusil.
  • Acid reducers include medications such as Tagamet, Pepcid AC or Zantac. These are called H-2 receptor blockers and will provide relief for a longer period of time than acid neutralizers. However, they are not as fast-acting as the neutralizers.
  • Acid blockers will block the production of the acid which can help to reduce the acid and let the esophagus heal. They are called proton inhibitors and include medications such as Prevacid 24 HR and Prilosec OTC.

Prescription Medications

GERD can be a chronic condition requiring strong medications than over-the-counter. Prescription medications include stronger versions of some of the over-the-counter medicines such as Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac or Prilosec. Proton pump inhibitors requiring prescriptions include Protonix, Aciphen or Dexilant.

With any over-the-counter and prescription medications there are potentials for unpleasant side-effects, so physician monitoring when taking the medications is always recommended. These medications treat symptoms of GERD, but will not cure the condition.

Natural GERD Remedies

There are several herbal products and natural foods that can relieve GERD conditions. Many people say that eating an apple before bed will prevent GERD symptoms from occurring. Vinegar and peppermint teas have been successful in treating GERD in people. Fennel tea can reduce the cramping that accompanies GERD, and meadowsweet tea is calming and helps ease inflammation and reduce acid in the stomach.

For more information about GERD prevention and cures, visit Reflux Remedy at: to find out how to get rid of GERD permanently with natural products found around the home.

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