Acid Reflux and Heartburn Relief Prescription Medication
You eat a late-night dinner, then lying in bed it hits you—that burning pain known as heartburn, or acid reflux. It’s a problem that plagues many people. Here’s the good news: You don’t have to suffer with heartburn. There are a few lifestyle changes you can make that will help. And, when that’s not enough, medications like prescription Nexium can ease the pain.
What exactly is acid reflux?
It’s a disorder in which stomach acid moves up into your esophagus (or gullet). Normally, the stomach valve keeps that from happening. But if that valve doesn’t close completely, stomach acids can move upward—and that’s when you feel that all-too-familiar pain. If you have acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week, it’s likely you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
What causes acid reflux?
A number of factors can set you up for acid reflux.
Extra belly weight increases your risk. So does a hiatal hernia—a condition in which the stomach valve and the upper part of the stomach move upward. And yes, when you dig into a big late-night meal, you’re setting yourself up for acid reflux. Spicy, fatty, or acidic foods (tomatoes, citrus fruits)—or garlic, onions, and chocolate—can be a problem. Your favorite cocktail, unfortunately, might have an acid reflux chaser.
Even your morning coffee, or a carbonated beverage, can make stomach acid churn. And, taking certain medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, high blood pressure or muscle-relaxing drugs) bothers some people.
What are the symptoms of acid reflux?
While burning chest pain is common, some people feel the discomfort in the abdomen. Others have a bitter or sour taste in the throat, which is the taste of acid. Hiccups and burping can be signs of acid reflux. A dry cough, sore throat, or hoarseness can also signal acid reflux.
What can I do for acid reflux?
Very often, lifestyle changes and medications are the answer.
Try eating dinner at least three hours before bedtime—so the food has time to digest. Eat smaller meals, especially at dinner time. Don’t rush your meals. Eat slowly! Sounds like your mother, doesn’t it? But it works!
Also, quit smoking. Nicotine in tobacco weakens the stomach valve. And, lose weight. Extra pounds increase the likelihood of acid reflux.
What medications can help?
Antacids will help--Rolaids, Mylanta, Alka-Seltzer, Maalox. They neutralize stomach acids. However, some can cause diarrhea or constipation if taken long-term.
When is it time for serious treatment?
When heartburn or GERD occurs more than twice a week, it’s time for a 24-hour heartburn medication.
Drugs called H2 blockers (like Pepcid and Zantac) can generally prevent reflux. However, these drugs may not be as good for treating inflammation in the esophagus caused by GERD. This inflammation can lead to serious complications.
When heartburn is severe, surgery may be an option. While the surgery is minimally invasive, there is risk—just as with all surgical procedures. So GERD surgery should be considered only when everything else has not worked.
This is a drug that blocks acid production more effectively—and longer--than the H2 blockers. Nexium is a type of medication called a proton pump inhibitor. It’s a popular drug in this class.
By inhibiting or turning off some "acid pumps," Nexium relieves heartburn pain and can heal possible damage to the esophagus within 8 weeks. This oral medication is taken once daily to provide 24-hour relief.
Ask your doctor if a prescription for Nexium might be an answer for your discomfort. AccessRx offers this popular prescription medication. With help available, there's no reason to suffer from treatable pain and conditions that impede your lifestyle. Nexium is proven to provide long-term relief from heartburn and acid reflux disease.