If you have suffered from heartburn before, you might be familiar with over-the-counter acid reflux medication. The following is a list of common acid reflux medication that you might be acquainted with:
- Anti-acids – Pepto Bismol, Mylanta, Tums, and Rolaids
- Medication to reduce acid production – Cimetidine, Famotidine, and Nizatidine
- Medication that can also serve to heal the esophagus – Proton pump inhibitors such as lansoprazole and omeprazole
More severe cases require prescription acid reflux medication such as:
- Prescription famotidine – stronger than the over-the-counter medication
- Prescription proton pump inhibitors – Such as Esomeprazole and Pantoprazole
- Medication to intervene with the lower esophageal sphincter – Baclofen, which can also cause fatigue and nausea (both side effects)
Acid reflux treatment
When medication does not work or if you have a condition such as a strangled hiatal hernia that is causing heartburn, you might need surgery. There are various procedures available for surgical acid reflux treatment:
- Fundoplication – Done laparoscopically, which means it is not an invasive procedure. This surgery aims to tighten the esophageal sphincter to prevent acid reflux
- LINX device – A ring of magnetic beads that is placed where the esophagus and the stomach meet. The magnetic attraction keeps the acid out of the esophagus
- Laparoscopic procedure for a Hiatal Hernia
Acid reflux in babies
Acid reflux in adults is different than infant reflux. Babies tend to spit up food frequently. This is in essence reflux, but it does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with your baby’s digestive system.
Infant reflux is different than acid reflux in adults insofar as:
- It usually stops by the time babies are about 18 months old, while in adults, acid reflux does not pass after a period of time necessarily
- Infant reflux to an extent is normal. Even healthy babies have it
- Monitoring for additional symptoms tells you whether your baby’s infant reflux requires further medical attention
It is always better to consult with your pediatrician if you are worried about your baby’s infant reflux. In any case, you should monitor your baby’s symptoms and look for the following:
- Signs your baby is irritated or upset after eating
- Failure to gain weight
- Refusal to eat
- Blood in stool
- Your baby spits up yellow/green fluid, blood, or dark matter that looks like coffee grounds
- Difficulty breathing
- Chronic cough
- Starts spitting up at age 6-months or older
- Your baby spits up forcefully – reflux is expelled and travels
If your baby is experiencing any of the symptoms above, you can contact your clinician here at Antidote.ai. We can help you understand what the best next steps are for your baby. We can also help you if you are suffering from acid reflux.
Is my acid reflux trying to tell me something?
Some might not be aware of the fact that acid reflux can be an indication of another ailment. People who suffer from acid reflux might have a hiatal hernia for instance.
A hiatal hernia is a condition in which your stomach bulges into your chest. This happens through a hole in your diaphragm, which plays a critical role in keeping stomach acid out of the esophagus.
Hiatal hernias must be taken care of immediately, especially if they become strangulated. If you have a strangulated hernia, your stomach can lose its blood supply and that is dangerous.
This is another reason you should always monitor your acid reflux symptoms and consult with a medical professional. Remember, sometimes heartburn is not just something you can use over-the-counter medication to deal with and then forget about it.