Acid Reflux Drugs - The Do's and Don'ts

Published: 05th January 2009
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What type of over-the-counter acid reflux drugs can really cure acid reflux or heartburn? Over-the-counter drugs or OTC don't usually require a doctor's prescription and can be bought immediately from any drugstores. Over-the-counter products such as antacids, H2 blockers, bismuth subsalicylate and proton pump inhibitors claim through advertisements that they can provide relief for acid reflux and its symptoms.

But can they really cure the acid reflux or heartburn, or will they bring fatal side effects? Actually, it's not the matter of the drug being effective. It's a matter of taking the right kind of medication for the right symptom or disorder. To do this, consulting a doctor is encouraged while self-medication is discouraged. However, it wouldn't hurt at all if you at least have an idea about each acid reflux drug.

To distinguish one from the other in curing acid reflux or heartburn, herewith are the soothing effects of OTC acid reflux drugs;

1. Antacids provide a fast but short-term relief in reducing the acid in the stomach.

2. H2 inhibitors work to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. The effect may not be immediately felt but the symptoms can be relieved for a period of time longer than antacids.

3. Bismuth subsalicylate balances the fluid movement through the bowels. They tend to incorporate with bacteria and kill its germs. This medicine is also used to treat nausea and diarrhea.

4. Proton pump inhibitors will stop the production of acid in the stomach. The effect of the drug will be felt within a period of 1 to 4 days.

As always, your doctor knows best. Never take these over-the-counter drugs without proper advice from your doctor as side effects might surface during self medication.

Acid Reflux Drugs - Precautionary Measures

1. Antacids contain a drug called phenylalanine. If a person is suffering from a disease causing mental retardation and seizures, phenylalanine should not be taken in as this will only aggravate the problem.

2. H2 inhibitors and Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) should not be used by people taking medicines for asthma, seizures, yeast problems, anxiety and heart problems as this will bar the effectiveness of the other drugs.

3. Proton Pump Inhibitors should be used by persons only if they suffer from heartburn often, at least 2 days in a week.

4. Bismuth subsalicylate should be avoided if you are taking drugs for blood-thinning, gout, arthritis and diabetes as this will lessen the effectiveness of the other drugs.

5. Individuals with allergy to aspirin should not take bismuth subsalicylate or any product that has salicylates.

6. Do not administer bismuth subsalicylate to children who may have the flu or chickenpox since it will only worsen their condition.

7. People who are on a strict low-salt diet should not take drugs with sodium bicarbonate or aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate.

8. If you are on a magnesium restricted diet, don't take drugs with magnesium hydroxide.

9. Unless the doctor allows it, people with kidney problems should not take drugs with calcium carbonate or aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate.

10. Acid reducers and antacids should not be taken simultaneously without asking advice from your doctor.

11. Ingesting antacid should be stopped if the stomach pain doesn't get better after 14 days.

12. Make sure you understand all your doctor's instructions regarding the frequency and dosages of the prescribed acid reflux drugs.

As an over-all assessment regarding the improper use of acid reflux drugs, acid reflux can lead to esophageal cancer known as Barrett's Esophagus. Accordingly, the esophagus cannot withstand acid in the stomach that will be produced by the Barrett's Esophagus disease. This is the classic example of the side effect being more fatal than the disease.

Alvin Hopkinson is a leading health researcher in the area of natural remedies and acid reflux cure. Discover how you can get rid of your acid reflux for good using proven home remedies, all without using harmful medications or drugs. Visit his site now at

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