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Gastritis (cont.)

What OTC and Prescription Medications Treat Gastritis?

If gastritis symptoms continue, antacids are sometimes recommended. Three main types of antacids are available. All three are about equal in effectiveness.

  • Magnesium-containing antacids may cause diarrhea. People with certain kidney problems should use these cautiously or not at all.
  • Aluminum-containing antacids can cause constipation.
  • Calcium-containing antacids have received a great deal of attention for their ability to control stomach acid and also supplement body calcium. Calcium supplementation is most important for postmenopausal women. Calcium-based antacids can also lead to constipation.
  • Antacids may also change the body's ability to absorb certain other medications. Only take medications with antacids after checking with a pharmacist or doctor.
  • If the patient requires an antacid more than occasionally, consult a health-care professional as they can decide which one is best for the patient.

Stronger medications that protect the stomach's lining or lessen acid production in the stomach are available by prescription. Talk to a health-care professional if the nonprescription medications do not work.

Histamine (H2) blockers have received a lot of attention for stomach problems.

  • Some of these medications, for example, cimetidine (Tagamet) and ranitidine (Zantac), are available without a prescription.
  • Histamine blockers work by reducing acid secretion in the stomach.
  • This reduces gastritis pain and other symptoms.
  • If a person needs one of these medications regularly, a health-care professional should be consulted for recommendations.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): These medications are very powerful blockers of the stomach's ability to secrete acid.

  • A health-care professional who prescribes one of these medications to treat the patient's gastritis may be doing so in consultation with a gastroenterologist.
  • Examples of PPIs include lansoprazole (Prevacid) and omeprazole (Prilosec, Losec).

Coating agents: These medications protect the stomach's lining.

  • Sucralfate (Carafate): Coats and protects the stomach lining
  • Misoprostol (Cytotec): Also protects the stomach lining. It is used as a preventive measure for people taking NSAIDs who are at a high risk of developing stomach damage

Antibiotics: An antibiotic may be prescribed if H pylori is the cause of the patient's gastritis.

Antiemetics: Antiemetic medications help control nausea and vomiting. A number of different antiemetics can be used to control gastritis symptoms. Some of these medications are available by prescription for home use as well. Note that these medications do not improve the gastritis, but rather only decrease the symptoms of gastritis.

Last Reviewed 11/20/2017

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Acute gastritis is a term covering a broad spectrum of entities that induce inflammatory changes in the gastric mucosa.

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