Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) FAQs (cont.)
What are my options if these treatments don't work?
If these acid blockers do not relieve your symptoms, your health care provider probably will recommend one of the drugs, which are even stronger, called proton pump inhibitors. Examples of these drugs are omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), pantoprazole (Protonix), and esomeprazole (Nexium). These tablets virtually stop all acid production in the stomach. They typically are taken only once a day. These drugs usually are prescribed if other drugs have not helped.
If you continue to have GERD symptoms, your health care provider may recommend adding a promotility drug such as metoclopramide (Reglan, Clopra, Maxolon) or bethanechol (Duvoid, Urabeth, Urecholine). These drugs empty food and acid quickly from the stomach so less can back up into the esophagus. They also help tighten the LES. These drugs have fairly significant side effects and do not work as well as the proton pump inhibitors in most people and are rarely necessary.
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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