Most symptoms of GERD can be managed with a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Surgery is reserved for people with severe complications but is needed only rarely.
Medications that can be used to neutralize stomach acid are antacids (e.g., aluminum or magnesium hydroxide*, calcium carbonate, bismuth subsalicylate). Medications that can be used to reduce the production of stomach acid include H2-antagonists (e.g., cimetidine, ranitidine, famotidine, nizatidine) and proton pump inhibitors (e.g., dexlansoprazole, omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, esomeprazole, rabeprazole).
For some people, a group of medications called prokinetic agents are used to help move the stomach content through the bowels and prevent any backward flow (e.g., metoclopramide, domperidone).
In addition to medications, symptoms of GERD can be improved by making one or more lifestyle changes. For example:
- Eat meals earlier, especially dinner.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently, instead of 2 or 3 large meals.
- Avoid lying down within 2 or 3 hours after meals.
- Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Stop smoking.
- Lose excess weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Place the head of your bed 6 inches higher than the foot of the bed.
Most people can have successful treatment by taking medications and making lifestyle and diet changes.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/GERD-Gastroesophageal-reflux-disease