Acid Reflux Medications
There are a number of acid reflux medications that are used to treat acid reflux. Some are over-the-counter antacids and others are prescription drugs. If over-the-counter medications are not treating your symptoms then you should consult a physician.
Antacids neutralize the digestive acids and are for mild symptoms of acid reflux. If you are going to use antacids, take them for relief of occasional instances of heartburn or acid reflux. Most antacids are available over the counter without a prescription as they are the first drugs recommended to relieve mild symptoms of acid reflux. All antacids rely on three main ingredients. Those ingredients are magnesium, calcium, or aluminum.
Magnesium salts come in the form of magnesium carbonate, magnesium trisilicate, and magnesium hydroxide. Milk of Magnesia is magnesium hydroxide. There is a major side effect of magnesium salts and that is diarrhea. Magnesium salts combined with aluminum will prevent this unwanted side effect. Products containing both magnesium salts and aluminum are Mylanta and Maalox.
Calcium is another treatment used to counteract the symptoms of acid reflux. Calcium carbonate is contained in such products as Tums and Alka Seltzer. Calcium is a fast-acting antacid that can cause constipation. Taking calcium carbonate for quite a long time can lead to kidney failure. This is rare though.
Aluminum salts are available in products such as Amphogel and Alternagel. Constipation is a side effect of taking aluminum salts. People that take large amounts of antacids are at risk to eventually develop osteoporosis, which is a progressive loss of bone density or thinning of the bone tissue, thereby increasing vulnerability to fractures. However, regular exercise along with vitamin and mineral supplements can reduce or even reverse the loss of bone density. Osteoporosis can also result from hormone deficiency, dietary deficiency, or disease.
Liquid antacids generally work faster than tablets. The liquids are also more potent than tablets. Continued long time usage of antacids will increase the risk of kidney stones. Some Prescription medications act as Receptor Antagonists or H2 blockers. These drugs inhibit the production of stomach acid. When there is less acid in the stomach, there is a reduced chance of it agitating up into the esophagus. Some popular H2 blockers include Zantax and Pepcid AC. H2 blockers are available in different strengths. These particular drugs are available from over-the-counter strength to prescription strength.
Other acid reflux medications such as Prilosec and Prevacid are proton pump inhibitors. They work to reduce acid in the stomach. This type of remedy alters the stomach’s natural processes for acid production and regulation. It is sometimes necessary to do so for relief, but it is important to investigate alternative remedies for acid reflux symptom relief.