Picking the right acid reflux medication makes all the difference in getting relief from the severe pain and discomfort. Read on and know more about the three general types of acid reflux medication so you too can get the relief from this all too common disease.
Generally, acid reflux medication comes in two forms: Over the counter and prescription medication. Over the counter acid reflux medication may give you temporary relief, while prescription meds are stronger and will last longer. There are three main types of acid reflux medication: Antacids, H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors. Antacids neutralize the acid in your stomach. However, this acid reflux medication is only a temporary fix – don’t get used to popping them every time you feel a burning sensation in your stomach. Take antacids only until the pain subsides and not any much more. Many acid reflux medication brands use magnesium, calcium, and aluminum salts to produce antacids and these ingredients do have side effects. Magnesium salt can lead to diarrhea, while the calcium and aluminum salts can cause constipation. Other side effects include stomach cramps and increased thirst.
The second type of acid reflux medication is H2 blockers. H2 blockers reduce the amount of acid that your stomach produces. H2 blockers are not to be used for more than ten days at a time. If the pain lingers for more than that time, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. The third and most effective acid reflux medication is Proton Pump Inhibitor. What this type of medication does is shut the proton pumps that manufacture acids (primarily hydrochloric acid) in your stomach. Proton pump inhibitors are available by prescription only. This acid reflux medication is very effective in reducing pain and discomfort, faster and longer than either antacids or H2 blockers.
But beware of getting used to treating your reflux with proton pump inhibitor medication. Because taking proton pump inhibitors act on your condition by shutting off the stomach acid production, long-term use, may in fact be life-threatening. Your body needs to produce a required amount of acid to break down food. Without it, your body won’t get the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Stomach acid, in the right levels, plays an integral part in keeping the bacteria in your stomach at a safe number and keeps them from multiplying and becoming a real danger to your system.
And because these different types of acid reflux medication that work in diverse ways, doctors would often recommend taking two different types of medication to help ease your acid reflux symptoms, while canceling out each other’s side effects. One example would be of combining both antacids and H2 blockers. The antacids neutralize the existing acid in the stomach while the H2 blockers prevent the production of more acid. Take caution in purchasing acid reflux medication. Be sure to ask for your doctor’s advice before you try any of these three types of acid reflux medication so you may know which one is appropriate for you.