Treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—a condition in which stomach acid rises back up into the esophagus—is often a case-by-case process in which your doctor prescribes different types of treatments depending on the severity of your case. Your doctor may start with suggestions for lifestyle changes or over-the-counter medications, and if those don’t alleviate the symptoms of your GERD, your doctor may then suggest a medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). Below we’ll go over the relation of PPIs and GERD, and what you need to know when it comes to your GERD treatment.
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For patients struggling with acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophogeal reflux disease), many doctors will prescribe PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) or recommend over the counter medication such as Tums, Rolaids, Pepcid, or Zantac. However, the ingredients commonly found in PPIs can cause damage if they are used as long-term solutions to reflux. Learn more about exactly what’s inside PPIs:
PPIs include such brand names as Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, and Nexium, and they are used very frequently because they are generally effective and most patients don’t experience side effects. Short-term side effects of PPIs can include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal discomfort.
However, as with most medications, even if the patient does not experience any short-term side effects, there can be side effects that occur with long-term use of the drug. These long-term side effects may be serious, and recent research has looked more closely at the dangers of PPIs that can accompany chronic usage of this class of drugs.