Medication for Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is an extremely common problem in the United States. Oftentimes, it can lead to significant trouble with swallowing, abdominal pain, pain after eating, a sour stomach, or a bad taste in the back of your mouth. Some patients complain of hoarseness, or changes in their voice, chronic cough, or even sleeping problems. For that reason, any of these symptoms should be evaluated by your physician. Acid reflux can easily be evaluated with an upper endoscopy, which may show signs of inflammation in the lower esophagus. Over time, these signs of inflammation can develop into a condition called Barrett's esophagus, which in a very small percentage of patients can develop into esophageal cancer.
Simple changes in lifestyle management can improve these symptoms, however, and at times the use of medication would be necessary, such as the H2 antagonists such as Zantac, Pepcid, or proton inhibitors such as Protonix, Nexium, Prilosec, or Zegerid. These medications can significantly improve one's symptoms, and thus their quality of life. However, because of the risk of Barrett’s, the symptoms should be discussed with your physician and possibly evaluated by a gastroenterologist.