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Understanding Heartburn/GERD Medications (cont.)

GERD and Heartburn Medical Treatment

The medical treatment options are used to prevent complications and reduce morbidity associated with GERD, and they include antacids, H2 receptor antagonists, proton pump inhibitors, coating, and promotility agents. In addition to medications, the following lifestyle modifications below are recommended:

  • Instead of eating large meals, eat small meals more frequently.
  • Avoid caffeine-containing foods and beverages (for example, coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate).
  • Avoid foods that decrease lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure (for example, peppermint, fatty or fried foods, alcohol).
  • Avoid acidic foods that may irritate the esophagus (for example, spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, tomato sauce).
  • If overweight, lose weight. People with excess weight have an increased incidence of reflux disease.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking weakens the LES and increases reflux.
  • Do not eat immediately before bedtime.
  • Avoid lying down immediately following a meal (ideally, a person should wait at least three hours). Elevate the head end of the bed by four to six inches if nighttime heartburn is experienced.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/1/2016
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

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