What GERD medications cure gastroesophageal reflux disease?
Antacids remain the drugs of choice for quick relief of symptoms associated with GERD. These agents act primarily by rapidly increasing the pH of the gastric refluxate. Antacids neutralize the acid in the stomach so that there is no acid to reflux. The problem with antacids is that their action is brief. They are emptied from the empty stomach quickly, in less than an hour, and the acid then re-accumulates. Although antacids are effective in relieving symptoms, they are not used as sole
agents for achieving esophageal healing because of the high dosage requirements and consequent lack of patient compliance.
Over-the-Counter H2-Receptor blockers are indicated for the prevention and relief of heartburn, acid indigestion and sour stomach. They are available in half of the dosage strength of the prescription products. Although over-the-counter H2-receptor blockers do not act as rapidly as antacids, they provide longer relief of symptoms. Because of their slower onset of action, H2-receptor blockers are primarily used to prevent GERD symptoms. H2-Receptor Blockers. Before proton pump inhibitors were introduced, H2-receptor blockers were the agents of choice for treating reflux symptoms and healing esophagitis. They remain the mainstay of pharmacologic treatment. H2-receptor blockers act by inhibiting histamine stimulation of the gastric parietal cell, thereby suppressing gastric acid secretion. These agents only minimally inhibit parietal cell stimulation by gastrin and acetylcholine, and therefore are weak inhibitors of meal-stimulated acid secretion. They are most effective in suppressing nocturnal acid secretion. Cisapride works by strengthening the lower esophageal sphincter and making the stomach empty more quickly. This shortens the amount of time that the esophagus comes in contact with the stomach contents. Other drugs, such as H2-blockers are sometimes prescribed to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach.
Prokinetic agents increase both gastric emptying and lower esophageal sphincter pressure. Cisapride (Propulsid) acts by increasing acetylcholine concentrations in the myenteric plexus. Because of the cholinergic side effects associated with bethanechol (Urecholine) and the central nervous system side effects associated with metoclopramide (Reglan), these older prokinetic agents are no longer frequently prescribed.
A variety of proton pump inhibitors are available by prescription, including omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), pantoprazole (Protonix), and rabeprazole (Aciphex). These drugs strongly inhibit gastric acid secretion. They act by irreversibly inhibiting the H+-K+ adenosine triphosphatase pump of the parietal cell. By blocking the final common pathway of gastric acid secretion, the proton pump inhibitors provide a greater degree and duration of gastric acid suppression compared with H2-receptor blockers.
More information on gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux, GERD)
What is gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux)? - Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which stomach contents, including acid, back up (reflux) into the esophagus, causing inflammation and damage to the esophagus.
What causes gastroesophageal reflux disease? - Gastroesophageal reflux disease is often the result of conditions that affect the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Dietary and lifestyle choices may contribute to GERD.
What are the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease? - Heartburn, also called acid indigestion, is the most common symptom of reflux. The most common symptoms in children are repeated vomiting, coughing, and other respiratory problems.
What're the complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease? - Chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease can lead to a number of serious problems, such as bleeding ulcers in the esophagus, and scarring leading to narrowing of the esophagus.
How is gastroesophageal reflux disease diagnosed? - Useful diagnosing methods include barium swallow X-rays, esophageal manometry, esophageal pH monitoring and EGD.
What're the treatments for gastroesophageal reflux disease? - Doctors recommend lifestyle and dietary changes for most people with GERD. Lifestyle modifications are a key component in the management of GERD and should be incorporated into all treatment stages.
What GERD medications treat gastroesophageal reflux disease? - Antacids remain the drugs of choice for quick relief of symptoms associated with GERD. H2-Receptor blockers are indicated for the prevention and relief of heartburn, acid indigestion and sour stomach.
What surgery treats gastroesophageal reflux disease? - Surgery is indicated for a small group of patients with GERD. The standard surgical treatment, sometimes preferred over longtime use of medication, is the Nissen fundoplication.
How to prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease with lifestyle? - A correct life style is effective to prevent the symptoms of GERD. Avoid foods that promote opening of the esophageal sphincter and increase acid reflux.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease in infants and children - Infants are more likely to have the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relax when it should remain shut. Infants are easier for the stomach contents to reflux up into the esophagus.
What is hiatal hernia? - A hiatal hernia is named for the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm between your chest and your stomach. There are two types of hiatal hernias.