8 Choices of Stomach Acid Medicines, Can Be Purchased Over-the-counter & With a Doctor’s Prescription

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stomach acid medicine

When experiencing stomach acid disorders, do you know which gastric acid drugs can be purchased freely or those that use a doctor’s prescription?

Talking about stomach acid health problems, everyone must have experienced it. At least once in a lifetime. Most of these gastric disorders occur due to an increase in stomach acid. Stomach acid generally increases when a person has gastritis (inflammation of the stomach / heartburn) or GERD (gastric ulcers).gastroesophageal reflux disease).

If the production continues to be excessive, this acidic liquid can injure the walls of the intestine, stomach, and esophagus. Furthermore, this will cause symptoms of acid reflux such as heartburn, bloating, early satiety, nausea, frequent belching, burning sensation in the chest, and a bitter taste in the mouth.

These symptoms can be overcome by stomach acid drugs available in pharmacies. Which one is chosen of course depends on the underlying condition and the severity of the symptoms.

Here are a selection of gastric medications that can be purchased without a prescription (over-the-counter/OTC) and which require a prescription from a doctor

Choice of Stomach Acid Medicines That Can Be Purchased Without a Prescription

1. Antacids

Antacids are often the first drugs used to help reduce heartburn or heartburn. Antacids contain aluminum, magnesium, or calcium minerals which are alkaline so they can neutralize the acid in the stomach. This drug works quickly, so it can relieve symptoms within minutes of taking it.

Antacids are available in suspension, chewable tablets or effervescent. Some of the trademarks on the market, namely Mylanta®, Promag®, Gastrucid®, Antacid Doen, and Lambucid®.

Possible side effects are diarrhea and constipation. Usually, side effects occur when antacids are used too often. We recommend that you always follow the instructions for use listed on the drug packaging label.

2. H2 (H2 .) receptor blockers blocker)

Drugs in this class aim to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach. Usually, drugs in this class begin to work within 1 hour after consumption. Although the onset of action is slower than antacids, drugs in this class can relieve symptoms for a longer time, ie 8-12 hours.

Over-the-counter H2 receptor blocking drugs are available in tablet form. The active ingredients found on the market are: ranitidine, cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine. Side effects that may arise are headache, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

3. Proton pump inhibitors (proton pump inhibitors/PPI)

stomach acid medicine

Just like H2 receptor blockers, drugs from the PPI class work by blocking the production of stomach acid. However, with a stronger effect. This drug is most effective for individuals with GERD who frequently experience a burning sensation in the chest.heartburn).

Drugs from the PPI class are available in pill or capsule form and only a few types are sold over the counter, including: lansoprazole, omeprazole, and esomeprazole.

Side effects that may arise are diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, headache, abdominal pain and heartburn. Less common but more serious side effects include the risk of pneumonia, fractures, and hypomagnesemia (low blood magnesium levels).

Choice of Drugs that Require a Doctor’s Prescription

If the symptoms are not too frequent or severe, over-the-counter medications are generally quite effective in treating gastric disorders. If symptoms tend to persist and interfere with activities, you need to consult a doctor and get the right prescription medication.

Types of drugs that are often prescribed for gastric disorders, namely:

1. Drugs that reduce gastric production

Drugs that fall into this group are H2 receptor blockers and PPIs. Its function and active substance are mostly the same as the dosage form of the over-the-counter drug. However, the dose per unit of the drug is higher for prescription drugs. Syrup dosage forms for drugs from this group are only available in the form of prescription drugs.

Higher doses have been more effective in improving symptoms and healing wounds to the stomach wall.

2. Cytoprotective agents

Drugs of this class work by forming a layer (coating) to protect the stomach wall from acid erosion. Another function, which triggers the production of mucus and increases blood flow to the walls of the digestive tract. Examples of cytoprotective agents are: misoprostol and sucralfate.

3. Prokinetic agents

Prokinetics are drugs that help the stomach process food more quickly. Drugs from this class work by stimulating the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, so that the acid is not too long in the stomach and strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter (esophagus) muscle.lower esophageal sphincter/LES) to prevent acid from backing up into the esophagus. Examples of drugs from this group are: metoclopramide, cisapride, and bethanechol.

However, its use must be used with caution because it can cause serious side effects such as excessive sleepiness, weakness, diarrhea, movement disorders, and restlessness.

stomach acid medicine

4. Drugs to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter muscle

In individuals with recurrent GERD, doctors sometimes prescribe baclofen, which reduces the frequency of LES muscle relaxation. Thus, stomach acid can be prevented from rising to the esophagus.

Side effects that can arise include impaired consciousness, body weakness, headaches, low blood pressure, and insomnia.

5. Antibiotics

When stomach disorders are caused by bacterial infection Helicobacter pylori, then the doctor will also prescribe antibiotics outside the drug to treat stomach acid itself.

Antibiotics used for this, include amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole, tetracycline and levofloxacin. In case of infection Helicobacter pylori, Usually more than 1 type of antibiotic is given, which is also combined with drugs from the PPI class. The duration of treatment can last for 7-14 days.

So, when do you need over-the-counter or prescription gastric acid medicine?

As the first line to relieve symptoms of gastric disorders, over-the-counter drugs are generally used. However, if used for more than two weeks or if symptoms do not improve with over-the-counter medications, it is a sign that you should consult a doctor.

Symptoms of frequent or severe stomach upset can be a sign of a more serious condition and can get worse if not treated properly. In these cases, you will need follow-up examinations and prescription drugs. Prescription drugs can have a stronger effect on symptom relief and reduce the frequency of recurrence of symptoms in the future.

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