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Acid Reflux Treatment: What Are The Choices?

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Acid Reflux TreatmentYour health care professional may recommend over-the-counter antacids for occasional heartburn symptoms. However, under more serious chronic heartburn situations, a more aggressive heartburn medication might be prescribed.

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Either H2 Blockers or proton pump inhibitors are prescribed for the more serious cases when heartburn continues for multiple days and weeks. Only in the most severe cases is acid reflux surgery recommended. The surgery is only as a last resort when all other acid reflux treatment doesn’t work.

Your doctor will probably start by recommending over-the-counter antacids, as they are the best place to start. These are products that everybody knows like Tums, Gaviscon and Alka-Seltzer. If none of these products work to stop your heartburn symptoms, then your doctor will take the next step and recommend an H2 Blocker. These are also readily available over-the-counter at your local drug store. These are such products as Zantac, Mylanta AR,Tagamet and Pepcid. They work slightly differently than the antacids, working to block the acid from being produced rather than neutralizing the acid that is already present. If the over-the-counter versions of these medications still don’t work, there are prescription strengths available.

The Next Step in Acid Reflux Treatment

The next step in acid reflux treatment are the proton pump inhibitors. You also might recognize some of these names like: Previcid, Zegrid and Prilosec. These also work to stop the acid from producing, but in a more assertive manner. Some of these drugs even help the stomach to empty faster. As with the others, some of these drugs are available in over-the-counter or prescription strength. The dose will be predetermined by your doctor.

As mentioned before, the final, last resort of acid reflux treatment is surgery. In this procedure the surgeon will modify the lower esophageal sphincter. Although it sounds like an extensive surgery, it now can be accomplished laparoscopically with only a brief stay in the hospital.

In conclusion, there are many choices for acid reflux treatment today – from everyday over the counter antacids to acid reflux surgery. But it should all start with an appointment with your doctor. They are the only ones qualified to point you in the right direction.

 

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