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Treatments for Heartburn

Treatments for Heartburn:

Treatment plans for GERD are individualized depending on the underlying cause, the presence of coexisting diseases, the age and medical history of the patient, and other factors. Treatment generally involves a multifaceted plan that addresses the cause, minimizes the discomfort of heartburn and indigestion, and decreases the risk of developing complications, such as esophageal ulcers and Barrett's esophagus.

The first step in treating GERD is the prevention of acid reflux. This includes not smoking or drinking alcohol, coffee and acidic beverages to excess.

It is also important to lose excess weight and to avoid large meals and eat several small meals every day. People with acid reflux or GERD should not eat late at night or up to two hours before bedtime. Clothing should be loose and not increase pressure on or constrict the abdomen.

It is also often advised to keep a food diary to help determine what foods or beverages causing or increasing acid reflux so they can be avoided.

People with acid reflux or GERD may need to sleep in a semi-upright position, which allows gravity to help keep stomach acid from flowing up into the esophagus. They also should not lie flat after eating.

Medications are also used in the treatment of GERD. They may include the use of over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums, Tagamet or Pepcid.

For more serious cases of GERD, drug treatment may include a proton pump inhibitor, which decreases the production of stomach acid. Drugs called H2 blockers also reduce stomach acid. Medications called prokinetics may be prescribed to make the stomach empty faster.

If GERD is caused by a hiatal hernia, treatment will include addressing the hiatal hernia. Hiatal hernia and severe cases of GERD may require hospitalization and surgery.

Treatment List for Heartburn

The list of treatments mentioned in various sources for Heartburn includes the following list. Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.

Alternative Treatments for Heartburn

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Heartburn may include:

Heartburn: Is the Diagnosis Correct?

The first step in getting correct treatment is to get a correct diagnosis. Differential diagnosis list for Heartburn may include:

Hidden causes of Heartburn may be incorrectly diagnosed:

Heartburn: Marketplace Products, Discounts & Offers

Products, offers and promotion categories available for Heartburn:

Curable Types of Heartburn

Possibly curable types of Heartburn may include:

  • Pregnancy associated heartburn
  • Heartburn associated with obesity
  • Mediacion ( nitrates, beta blockers) associated heartburn
  • Cholelithiasis associated with heartburn
  • more curable types...»

Heartburn: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research all specialists including ratings, affiliations, and sanctions.

Drugs and Medications used to treat Heartburn:

Note:You must always seek professional medical advice about any prescription drug, OTC drug, medication, treatment or change in treatment plans.

Some of the different medications used in the treatment of Heartburn include:

  • Histamine
  • Tagamet HB 200
  • Acid Reducer 200
  • Acid Reducer Cimetidine
  • Heartburn 200
  • Heartburn Relief 200
  • Pepcid
  • Pepcid AC
  • Pepcid Complete
  • Acid Control
  • Acid Controller
  • Lansoprazole
  • Prevacid
  • Prevacid delayed release oral suspension
  • Prevpac
  • Omeprazole
  • Losec
  • Prilosec
  • Risek
  • Calcium Carbonate and Simethicone
  • Titralac Plus
  • Novo-Cimetidine
  • Gen-Cimetidine
  • PMS-Cimetidine
  • Pantoprazole
  • Protonix
  • Panto IV
  • Pantoloc
  • Pantozol
  • Zurcal
  • Alu-Tab
  • Andrews Tums
  • Degas Extra
  • DeWitt's Antacid
  • Dexsal
  • Eno
  • Gastrogel Tablets
  • Gelusil
  • Mylanta Original
  • Mylanta Double Strength
  • Sigma Liquid Antacid
  • Gaviscon
  • Meracote
  • Gaviscon Double Strength
  • Mucaine
  • Mucaine 2 in 1
  • Mylanta Heartburn Relief
  • Mylanta Rolltabsa
  • Rennie
  • Salvital
  • Sodibic
  • Titralac
  • Titralac SIL

Latest treatments for Heartburn:

The following are some of the latest treatments for Heartburn:

Hospital statistics for Heartburn:

These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Heartburn:

  • 0.03% (3,877) of hospital consultant episodes were for heartburn in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 99% of hospital consultant episodes for heartburn required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 42% of hospital consultant episodes for heartburn were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 58% of hospital consultant episodes for heartburn were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • more hospital information...»

Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Heartburn

Research quality ratings and patient incidents/safety measures for hospitals and medical facilities in specialties related to Heartburn:

Hospital & Clinic quality ratings »

Choosing the Best Treatment Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Heartburn, on hospital and medical facility performance and surgical care quality:

Medical news summaries about treatments for Heartburn:

The following medical news items are relevant to treatment of Heartburn:

Discussion of treatments for Heartburn:

Heartburn, Hiatal Hernia, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): NIDDK (Excerpt)

If you have had heartburn or any of the other symptoms for a while, you should see your doctor. You may want to visit an internist, a doctor who specializes in internal medicine, or a gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the stomach and intestines. Depending on how severe your GERD is, treatment may involve one or more of the following lifestyle changes and medications or surgery.

Lifestyle Changes

  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Lose weight if needed.
  • Eat small meals.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes.
  • Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal.
  • Raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches by putting blocks of wood under the bedposts--just using extra pillows will not help.

Medications

Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter antacids, which you can buy without a prescription, or medications that stop acid production or help the muscles that empty your stomach.

Antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Pepto-Bismol, Rolaids, and Riopan, are usually the first drugs recommended to relieve heartburn and other mild GERD symptoms. Many brands on the market use different combinations of three basic salts--magnesium, calcium, and aluminum--with hydroxide or bicarbonate ions to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Antacids, however, have side effects. Magnesium salt can lead to diarrhea, and aluminum salts can cause constipation. Aluminum and magnesium salts are often combined in a single product to balance these effects.

Calcium carbonate antacids, such as Tums, Titralac, and Alka-2, can also be a supplemental source of calcium. They can cause constipation as well.

Foaming agents, such as Gaviscon, work by covering your stomach contents with foam to prevent reflux. These drugs may help those who have no damage to the esophagus.

H2 blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet HB), famotidine (Pepcid AC), nizatidine (Axid AR), and ranitidine (Zantac 75), impede acid production. They are available in prescription strength and over the counter. These drugs provide short-term relief, but over-the-counter H2 blockers should not be used for more than a few weeks at a time. They are effective for about half of those who have GERD symptoms. Many people benefit from taking H2 blockers at bedtime in combination with a proton pump inhibitor.

Proton pump inhibitors include omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and esomeprazole (Nexium), which are all available by prescription. Proton pump inhibitors are more effective than H2 blockers and can relieve symptoms in almost everyone who has GERD.

Another group of drugs, prokinetics, helps strengthen the sphincter and makes the stomach empty faster. This group includes bethanechol (Urecholine) and metoclopramide (Reglan). Metoclopramide also improves muscle action in the digestive tract, but these drugs have frequent side effects that limit their usefulness. Erythromycin, an antibiotic, can also help your stomach empty faster.

Because drugs work in different ways, combinations of drugs may help control symptoms. People who get heartburn after eating may take both antacids and H2 blockers. The antacids work first to neutralize the acid in the stomach, while the H2 blockers act on acid production. By the time the antacid stops working, the H2 blocker will have stopped acid production. Your doctor is the best source of information on how to use medications for GERD. (Source: excerpt from Heartburn, Hiatal Hernia, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): NIDDK)

Heartburn, Hiatal Hernia, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): NIDDK (Excerpt)

Surgery

Surgery is an option when medicine and lifestyle changes do not work. Surgery may also be a reasonable alternative to a lifetime of drugs and discomfort.

Fundoplication, usually a specific variation called Nissen fundoplication, is the standard surgical treatment for GERD. The upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the LES to strengthen the sphincter and prevent acid reflux and to repair a hiatal hernia.

This fundoplication procedure may be done using a laparoscope and requires only tiny incisions in the abdomen. To perform the fundoplication, surgeons use small instruments that hold a tiny camera. Laparoscopic fundoplication has been used safely and effectively in people of all ages, even babies. When performed by experienced surgeons, the procedure is reported to be as good as standard fundoplication. Furthermore, people can leave the hospital in 1 to 3 days and return to work in 1 to 2 weeks.

In 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two endoscopic devices to treat chronic heartburn. The Bard EndoCinch system puts stitches in the LES to create little pleats that help strengthen the muscle. The Stretta system uses electrodes to create tiny cuts on the LES. When the cuts heal, the scar tissue helps toughen the muscle. The long-term effects of these two procedures are unknown. (Source: excerpt from Heartburn, Hiatal Hernia, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): NIDDK)

Facts and Fallacies About Digestive Diseases: NIDDK (Excerpt)

Actually, cigarette smoking contributes to heartburn. Heartburn occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES)—a muscle between the esophagus and stomach—relaxes, allowing the acidic contents of the stomach to splash back into the esophagus. Cigarette smoking causes the LES to relax. (Source: excerpt from Facts and Fallacies About Digestive Diseases: NIDDK)

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