Proton Pump Inhibitors for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
These medicines are taken by mouth (as a pill or liquid) once or twice a day. Some of these drugs are given intravenously (IV) in the hospital.
Some of these medicines are available without a prescription. But if you have been using Prilosec OTC to treat your symptoms for longer than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor. If you have GERD, it could be causing damage to your esophagus. Your doctor can help you find the right treatment.
How It Works
Proton pump inhibitors reduce the production of acid in the stomach. This leaves little acid in the stomach juice so that if stomach juice backs up into the esophagus, it is less irritating. This allows the esophagus to heal.
Why It Is Used
Proton pump inhibitors are usually used:
People with Barrett's esophagus are often treated with proton pump inhibitors.
How Well It Works
Proton pump inhibitors can heal the esophagus in about 8 out of 10 people who take them.1
Proton pump inhibitors also work to help symptoms of GERD. But the number of people who take PPIs and who have no GERD symptoms is usually less than 5 out of 10 people. That means that of the people taking PPIs, more than 5 out of 10 still have some GERD symptoms.
Proton pump inhibitors work best when they are taken 30 minutes before your first meal of the day. If taking one pill before your first meal does not completely relieve your symptoms, talk to your doctor about taking another pill before your evening meal.
Proton pump inhibitors may have more serious side effects, too:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
For a very small number of people who take proton pump inhibitors, the medicines do not work well. For these people, other treatments for GERD can be tried. Sometimes proton pump inhibitors do not work well because people do not know when to take them. Proton pump inhibitors work best when they are taken 30 minutes before your first meal of the day. If taking one pill before your first meal does not completely relieve your symptoms, talk to your doctor about taking another pill before your evening meal.
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