Top Five Acid Reflux Prescription Medications


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For some people, finding the right acid reflux prescription medications is something that turns out to be very simple, but for others, there may be some trial and error involved.

This condition has a number of effective treatments and medications. Once you find something that works for you, you will probably have to take it for a few months to heal damage, though sometimes lifestyle changes can work wonders and you might be able to stop sooner. Most medications are of the once-a-day variety, but your doctor will tailor your prescription to your needs.

Here are five of the most common and most used medications for acid reflux.

Prilosec (generic name- omeprazole): You have probably seen commercials for Prilosec on television, and you might think it is an over-the-counter medication. Though there is an OTC form, there is also prescription strength available. This type of medication is a PPI, which stands for ‘proton pump inhibitor.’ This means that the medication is meant to lessen the amount of acid the stomach produces. Less acid production means less acid going up through the weakened stomach valve. This medication can promote healing of damaged tissues in as little as two months. This drug is swallowed whole, and has not been tested on pregnant or nursing moms.

Nexium (generic name- esomeprazole): Like Prilosec, this is a drug that is a PPI. It suppresses the enzymes that produce stomach acid to alleviate the symptoms and damage associated with GERD or gastric reflux. This comes in pill form, but there is an intravenous dose for special cases. This is often taken one hour before a meal, and is swallowed whole for best results. Also like Prilosec, this has not been studied with pregnant and nursing women.

Prevacid (generic name-lansoprazole): This is another of the PPI drugs, and it helps retard acid production while allowing the damaged tissues in the esophagus to properly heal. They can be swallowed, or there are tablets that can be placed under the tongue to dissolve rather than swallowed whole. Intravenous doses are available for those who cannot handle the tablet. This is also not be recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing.

Protonix (generic name- pantoprazole): Protonix is also a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) but is perhaps not as well known as the others. It works in the same manner though, and comes in only pill form at this time. Though this is a treatment for GERD, it is also known to be an effective treatment for ulcers. This pill might be taken in whole form only about 30 minutes before a meal for up to two months to decide if it is effective and if healing has occurred. This can not yet be recommended for pregnant and/or nursing women.
 
Tagamet (generic name-cimetidine): Though this is often thought of as an over-the-counter medication, it is available in prescription strength for those with persistent and daily heartburn problems. This works to stop acid production, but is different than the PPI variety of drug. It blocks histamines, which are known to stimulate acid production. In most cases, the prescription strength is only needed when there has been damage to the tissues. This is taken in pill form, and there is no research as to whether pregnant or nursing women should take it or not.

As with any type of medication, there is always the possibility that one of these might interact with other medications you may be taking for another condition, so be sure to let both your doctor and your pharmacist know what else you are taking.

You should find relief very quickly with each of these, and if you don’t, speak with your doctor. You might need a different dosage of these acid reflux prescription medications, or you may not have acid reflux at all. There are times when other problems can mimic this condition, so if your meds are not working, you should get a second opinion as to the cause of your symptoms.


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10 Responses

  1. brigid
    June 7th, 2007 | 5:43 pm

    seem to have acid reflux throat only.have never had other symptoms.At the moment it seems to have improved drastically but I am wondering if the damage is still going on inside and have silent reflux.Not many newsletters websites seem to deal with this type of reflux and is it the same treatment for all.Also the fact that I can get so little info on it does that mean that i shouldnt worry about it and that it is not that serious..Was on omeprazole for a while in dec 2weeks.It came back the minute i stopped taking it.I now watch what i eat instead..

  2. vicki
    June 7th, 2007 | 7:29 pm

    This is very good information that I received from you. I have a question for you. I have barriets diease now after finding out the I had acid reflux for over 20 years and never had heart burn ever. And I am on nexium twicw aday take a pill after and hour before eating breakfast and one at supper time. I still have the burning and I still lose my voice yet. I still have trouble shallowing and I choke alot. Is there anything else that can be done?

  3. wave harris
    June 8th, 2007 | 4:44 pm

    Is it safe to take Motrin or a PMS medicine while taking Zantac 150?

  4. June 8th, 2007 | 7:57 pm

    I can’t comment on individual cases so please do not regard the following as medical advise as it isn’t, however I can make a few general comments.

    Wave - I looked at both http://www.drugs.com and http://www.zantacotc.com/150.html ( the drug manufacturers). Neither site mentioned Motrin specifically, however there are some medications that do interact so I would speak to your doctor about the safety of taking these medictions together.

    Brigid - silent reflux is exactly that - silent. In other words the reflux can still be happening even if you’re not feeling any symptoms. Changing your diet is a big step in alleviating reflux problems, but I would discuss this with your doctor. They may wish to continue monitoring your situation to ensure that the reflux is actually under control.

    Vicki - Losing your voice, trouble swallowing and choking can be signs of silent reflux so I think its important you report these symptoms to your doctor. They may want to review your meds.

  5. christine boddy
    June 11th, 2007 | 6:28 pm

    Hi, my acid reflux is all in my mouth. I have a burning tongue, coated tongue, bitter taste, dry mouth, and I have the clearing of the throat. I have it everyday, all day. I have been taking Nexium for almost 3 years. I have had a scope two and a half years ago. Dr. said everything looks fine. But I can’t take it anymore. Always looking for help! Hoping to fined it on the internet.

  6. June 12th, 2007 | 3:14 am

    Hi Kathryn its me Ralphie. It’s a good thing I seen my prescrition in your magazine. Boy let me tell you I was glad. Anyway remember I sent you a letter that I was taking prevacid for my acid reflux? Well for some reason I don’t know if I should keep taking it any more, because it just makes my acid reflux worse. So what I decided to do is to watch out what I’m eating. To tell you the truth I feel alot better. No pain during the day, no pain in the moning unless I have something to eat after midnight I will feel a slight pain in the morning when I get up. Other than that I’m doing ok. So what do you think.

  7. Michele
    June 14th, 2007 | 6:09 pm

    I’ve been through the whole diagnostic regimen both with my internist, allergist and ENT. I don’t get heartburn often, but I’ve had the chronic mucus problem for a couple of years. The ENT scoped my throat but said he didn’t see any signs of reflux. Still, he put me on Aciphex. I was only on it for 2 weeks. It caused my joints to ache so badly, I couldn’t focus at work, couldn’t sleep well and by the second week, could barely walk.

    My internist said to stop drinking coffee and eating tomatoes as those are usually the worst offenders. I was off coffee for a couple of months and was starting to get better, i.e., nowhere near the problems with the mucus, although I always seem to cough up a clump of junk immediately after eating, no matter what I eat. (I’ve sworn off fried food as well.) Finding that limiting the processed foods and more fresh fruits and veggies (no citrus) has helped a lot. A couple of weeks ago, I just couldn’t resist that cup of Joe…… and I paid the price. So I’m starting all over again. Coffee is not in my present or my future!

  8. Ana Vicente
    June 15th, 2007 | 12:31 am

    Christine I have the same thing and lately I have been coughing also. I went to the doctor 2 weeks ago and send me to have a stool sample to check for certain bacteria in my stomach. I have been in antiacids for 2 years since the condition started. I am almost sure my condition happened as stress due to the death of my father. Somehow it become chronic, I can feel myself tightening my throat when I have anxiety. I exercise, pray, eat well 80% of the time. Some people say that meditation is also a good remedy, it may not cure it but if it can be alleviated is worth to try.

  9. June 16th, 2007 | 1:09 pm

    Michele
    Great news that the diet modifications are starting to work - keep up the good work and try not to give in to the devilish charms of coffee!!! Its the aroma isn’t it? So tempting but just not worth it!

    ——————————

    Ralphie
    Again I’m so pleased that making changes to your diet has brought you relief. However its really important not to stop taking medications without consulting your doctor first. I would suggest you make an appointment to speak with them and tell them how well you’re doing and see if they still recommend you take the medications.

  10. May 12th, 2009 | 1:18 pm

    Kathryn, I had my gallbladder removed in April hoping that this would solve my problem. My pathology report revealed that the gallladder was larger than usual and had some stones in it. However, since then, it appears that the acid reflux symptoms has gotten worse. I found myself back at the hosptial again. This time with vomiting, chest pain/pressure, and the works. Incidentally, yesterday was a bad day. I had excruciating pain/pressure in my chest. Could not reach my doctor’s office for an appointment. Meanwhile, I began to search the internet for a home remedy. I ran accross this article on “stop acid reflux now” and began reading about apple cider vinegar. I was desperate. I felt like I was going to die. The nexium was not working. My throat was burning. I was even a little hoarse. If I burped, food/acid would come up a little. I was miserable. But, I went home and took two tablespoons of vinegar in eight ounces of water ate my supper. I ate two porkchops that was spinkled with a little seasoned salt and water, a small baked potato, a serving spoon of kale greens, and a slice of wheat bread. This was around 7pm. By 9pm, I already felt 75% better. I dont have the money to order your materials right now, but I will soon. Thank you for the information you have provided in this article. Through prayer and your information, I decree that I am on my way to being healed. I will continue this regimen until I am healed completely. God Bless you for the work you have put into this research. You are a blessing to millions. Thank you!

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