Anti-Reflux Drugs

There are several treatment options for acid reflux available to people suffering from recurring acid reflux.

Prescription medications for acid reflux/GERD are very misunderstood by consumers.  What people don't often realize is that most of these drugs are only supposed to be taken as a short term course of treatment (less than 8 weeks in most cases).  Long term therapy with these prescription medications can lead to accumulated side effects including headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.  Why then, do doctors prescribe these medications to their patients for years?  Prescribing information for the most popular prescription medications can be found lower on this page.

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Anti-Reflux Drugs are prescribed by physicians and are also known as Proton Pump Inhibitors. They are most commonly known by their commercial names:
nexium, prilosec, prevacid, potonix, aciphex, tagamet, zantac, axid, pepcid

  • Nexium
  • Prilosec
  • Prevacid
  • Protonix
  • Aciphex
  • Tagamet
  • Zantac
  • Axid
  • Pepcid

Proton pump inhibitors stop acid secretion at the source of acid production... the proton pump.

Unfortunately, the effectiveness of PPI's at suppressing gastric acid also causes the body to secrete less gastrin, a hormone needed for the digestion of protein. Interfering with the digestive process this way can cause an array of problems simply because when food is present in the stomach, people taking PPI's do not secrete adequate gastric acid and enzymes for its digestion. This can lead to indigestion, bloating, flatulence, and constipation. These symptoms may be more severe with a high protein diet.

In severe cases of GERD, surgery may be prescribed.

Other drug treatments:

  • Gastric H2 receptor blockers inhibit secretions caused by histamine and gastrin. They also inhibit fasting, nocturnal secretion, and secretion stimulated by food, insulin, and caffeine.
  • Antacids
  • Prokinetic Agents do not inhibit gastric acid secretion. Instead, they stimulate the motility of the upper GI tract by increasing the frequency of contractions in the small intestine. This accelerates stomach emptying.

Are you taking prescription drugs for more than directed?

Many popular prescription drugs designed to cure acid reflux are supposed to be used as temporary treatments, and yet many people have been taking them for years.

Prilosec

"How long can I take Prilosec OTC? Prilosec OTC is a 14-day regimen that is indicated for three courses per year. While it is safe to treat frequent heartburn regularly with Prilosec OTC, it is strong enough to mask more serious conditions. If you want to take more than the three indicated courses, first consult your doctor."

Nexium

"NEXIUM is indicated for the short-term treatment (4 to 8 weeks) in the healing and symptomatic resolution of diagnostically confirmed erosive esophagitis. For those patients who have not healed after 4 to 8 weeks of treatment, an additional 4 to 8 week course of NEXIUM may be considered."

**Controlled studies did not extend beyond six months.
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Prevacid

"PREVACID is indicated for short-term treatment (up to 8 weeks) for healing and symptom relief of active benign gastric ulcer." "Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Short-term treatment of symptomatic GERD...once daily for up to 8 weeks.
Short-term treatment of Erosive Esophagitis...once daily for up to 8 weeks.
**For patients who do not heal with PREVACID for 8 weeks (5–10%), it may be helpful to give an additional 8 weeks of treatment. If
there is a recurrence of erosive esophagitis, an additional 8 week course of PREVACID may be considered."
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Protonix

"PROTONIX® is indicated for the short-term treatment (up to 8 weeks) in the healing and symptomatic relief of erosive esophagitis. For those patients who have not healed after 8 weeks of treatment, an additional 8-week course of PROTONIX may be considered."
"PROTONIX is indicated for maintenance of healing of erosive esophagitis and reduction in relapse rates of daytime and nighttime heartburn symptoms in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Controlled studies did not extend beyond 12 months."
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Aciphex

"ACIPHEX is indicated for short-term (4 to 8 weeks) treatment in the healing and symptomatic relief of erosive or ulcerative gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). For those patients who have not healed after 8 weeks of treatment, an additional 8-week course of ACIPHEX may be considered.":
"ACIPHEX is indicated for maintaining healing and reduction in relapse rates of heartburn symptoms in patients with erosive or ulcerative gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD Maintenance). Controlled studies do not extend beyond 12 months."
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Kapidex

"KAPIDEX is indicated for the treatment of heartburn associated with non-erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) for 4 weeks."
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List of all Proton Pump Inhibitors

  • Omeprazole (brand names: Losec, Prilosec, Zegerid, ocid, Lomac, Omepral, Omez)
  • Lansoprazole (brand names: Prevacid, Zoton, Inhibitol, Levant, Lupizole)
  • Dexlansoprazole (brand name: Kapidex)
  • Esomeprazole (brand names: Nexium, Esotrex)
  • Pantoprazole (brand names: Protonix, Somac, Pantoloc, Pantozol, Zurcal, Pan)
  • Rabeprazole (brand names: Rabecid, Aciphex, Pariet, Rabeloc. Dorafem)

Try the natural cure for GERD

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