Medications are one treatment option for addressing the symptoms of GERD. Heartburn medication is an effective method for neutralizing stomach acid to reduce GERD symptoms. Some patients may notice a loss of effectiveness over time, or they may have concerns about side effects, which may lead them to seek out minimally invasive procedures to treat GERD.
There are several types of medication available to treat GERD:
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
These drugs block acid production in the stomach and reduce esophageal damage. They include Prilosec®, Aciphex®, Protonix®, Prevacid®, and Nexium®.
These traditional heartburn medications work quickly to neutralize acid and relieve symptoms temporarily, but are not designed for long term use. They include Tums®, Rolaids®, Maalox®, and Mylanta®.
These prescription medications, such as Urecholine® and Reglan®, work to speed up digestion to reduce the time that reflux can occur and they may also strengthen the esophageal sphincter. These medications often cause concern for side effects and may be prescribed with caution.