What is acid reducers?

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What are some examples of acid-reducing medicines?

Examples of acid reducers include:

H2 blockers.
  • Tagamet (cimetidine)
  • Pepcid (famotidine)
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
  • Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Prevacid (lansoprazole)
  • Prilosec, Zegerid (omeprazole)
  • Protonix (pantoprazole)
  • Aciphex (rabeprazole)
Antacids.
  • Gaviscon
  • Mylanta
  • Maalox
  • Tums

How can you safely take acid-reducing medicines?

Some H2 blockers and PPIs can affect how other medicines work. Tell your doctor if you use other medicines. He or she may change the dose or give you a different medicine.

Many antacids have aspirin in them. Read the label to make sure that you don't take too much. Too much aspirin can be harmful.

Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. If you take over-the-counter medicine, be sure to read and follow all instructions on the label. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist before you use any other medicines. This includes over-the-counter medicines. Tell your doctor about all of the medicines, vitamins, herbal products, and supplements you take. Taking some medicines together can cause problems.

How do acid-reducing medicines work?

Acid-reducing medicines work in two ways. H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) lower the amount of acid your stomach makes. They don't work on the acid that's already there. Antacids work by making stomach juices less acidic. But your heartburn may come back as your stomach makes more acid.

Acid-reducing medicines: Overview

Acid-reducing medicines can help relieve heartburn and other symptoms of indigestion. They can help prevent damage to your digestive system from stomach acids. They also are used to treat reflux and ulcer symptoms.

These medicines include H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). They help your stomach make less acid. You can buy them over the counter. Some of them also come in prescription strengths.

Antacids can also help relieve heartburn symptoms. They reduce the acid that is already in your stomach. You can buy them over the counter.

Which medicine is best for you depends on what is causing your symptoms.

Why are acid-reducing medicines used?

Acid reducers may be used to:

  • Treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Treat ulcers.
  • Help prevent problems in people who are at risk for ulcers, like those who take NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) long-term and those who are in the hospital.

What are the side effects of acid-reducing medicines?

Many people don't have side effects. And minor side effects might go away after a while.

H2 blockers can cause headaches or make you dizzy. They might cause diarrhea or constipation. You may have nausea and vomiting.

PPIs can cause headaches and diarrhea. Using them for a long time may raise your risk for infections or broken bones.

Some antacids can cause constipation or diarrhea. The brands vary in the ingredients they use. They can have different side effects.

If you use too much heartburn medicine, your body may not get enough of some minerals from your food.

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