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The acid that aids digestion is extremely potent. However, while your stomach can withstand it, your esophagus, which is more sensitive, cannot.
The acid in your stomach is supposed to stay there. Acid can wash (or “reflux”) up from a malfunctioning valve at the top of your stomach, generating a burning sensation called heartburn, which has nothing to do with your heart.
Reflux symptoms can be reduced by losing weight or modifying your habits, such as not lying down within 2 hours of eating.
There are drugs you can take if you’re having trouble with your symptoms. If modifying your habits doesn’t help, there are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications that can assist relieve the pain.
Learn about the possibilities before making a decision. Also, keep in mind that what you think is heartburn may actually be something different. So, before you start any heartburn medication, have an appointment with your doctor to rule out any other problems.
Hi! I’m Joshua, and I’m here on the Stomach Health Channel to assist you with stomach pain treatment. Let’s get back to the video now.
They’re the oldest and most well-known drugs for treating heartburn, and they’ve stayed popular because they’re quick-acting, cheap, and easy to get without a prescription, and they’re generally safe when used as advised. Examples include Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Tums.
How do they function? Antacids work by neutralizing gastric acids (think: anti-acid). They can be used to relieve heartburn that has already begun. If you’ve had a spicy meal and are experiencing heartburn, antacids are your best chance for putting out the flames.
Some of them are tablets. Others are available in liquid form. Tablets take longer to work and aren’t as potent as liquids, but they’re more handy for many individuals. Chew them well before swallowing for faster relief.
When do they go into effect? In as little as 5 minutes, they can begin to alleviate your problems. The respite could last anywhere from half an hour to three hours. Antacids will not prevent future bouts of heartburn or repair any esophageal damage.
Side effects: The severity of your side effects will be determined on the amount and frequency with which you take them. You might not have any if you simply take them once in a while. Antacids, on the other hand, might cause diarrhea or constipation in certain persons. Before taking these, consult your doctor if you have heart or kidney problems.
The bottom line: An antacid is usually your best option if your heartburn is mild and caused by something you ate. It will function quickly and has few drawbacks. However, if your heartburn is severe or occurs more than twice a week, you may require a stronger medication.
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Stomach Acid-Decreasing Drugs
If antacids aren’t working, you might want to try a histamine blocker (H2 blocker). H2 blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), and nizatidine are available over-the-counter and by prescription as liquids and pills.
How do they function? These medications cause your stomach to produce less acid, reducing the likelihood of heartburn.
If you develop heartburn in particular circumstances, such as after eating spicy food, taking an H2 blocker an hour before your meal can help prevent symptoms. They can help with nocturnal heartburn if taken before bed.
When do they go into effect? They usually start working in an hour and the effects might last up to 12 hours. Pepcid Complete is a medication that combines two antacids (calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide) with an H2 blocker (famotidine) to provide instant and long-term relief.
Chronic heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease is not always treated with H2 blockers (GERD).
For short-term relief, you can take over-the-counter H2 blockers for up to two weeks. Talk to your doctor if you’ve been using over-the-counter drugs to treat your symptoms for longer than that.