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Acid Reflux Disease (GERD) (cont.)

What prescription medications treat acid reflux (GERD)?

These drugs use different mechanisms to reduce reflux.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

  • PPIs include omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and pantoprazole (Protonix). Many of these medications can now be found over-the-counter in certain doses, without a prescription.
  • They block the production of an enzyme needed to produce stomach acid.
  • PPIs stop acid production more completely than H2-blockers.

Coating agents

Sucralfate (Carafate) coats mucous membranes and sores to provide an additional protective barrier against stomach acid.

Promotility agents

  • Promotility agents include metoclopramide (Reglan, Clopra, Maxolon) and bethanechol (Duvoid, Urabeth, Urecholine).
  • They help tighten the lower esophageal sphincter and promote faster emptying of the stomach.
  • Health-care professionals often are reluctant to prescribe these medications because they have fairly significant side effects.
  • Promotility agents also do not work as well as PPIs for most people.
  • One of these agents, cisapride (Propulsid), has been removed from the U.S. market because of safety concerns related to lethal drug interactions.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/12/2015
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease »

Gastroesophageal reflux is a normal physiological phenomenon experienced intermittently by most people, particularly after a meal.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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