Stomach acid is a cause of constant worry to many Americans these days. Blame it on the junk food or the unhealthy beverages or the overloaded routines, acid reflux is something all of us have to battle with from time to time. Though not many get it often, a few are perennial victims. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD) or acid reflux is a condition which cause heartburns in an individual. Heartburns are marked by burning sensations in the chest, splitting headaches and occasional chest pain. When you have heartburns, you are ill at ease with yourself. There is a heaviness in your chest region and you have a fully-fed or overfed feeling always.
Antacids for GERD: Acid reflux occurs when two things happen in the stomach – either there is excess or little production of stomach acid. The stomach acid, produced by the enzymes in the stomach lining, goes in a reflux-like action to the esophagus. The esophageal region, unlike the stomach cells, does not have any lining to safeguard itself from the effect of the acid. This causes irritation and burning sensation in the chest area, resulting in GERD. Antacids are highly effective in suppressing the effect of the stomach acid. Prilosec is one such antacid which controls the production of stomach acid and stops it from reaching the esophageal region.
Prilosec for acid reflux: Prilosec works by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It controls the enzymes which produce the digestive acid and balances the acid level in the stomach. Apart from reducing excess acid production, Prilosec heals the erosive esophagitis condition caused by the reflux of acid in the esophageal region. The drug is sometimes given with antibiotics in the treatment of gastric ulcers caused by infection with H. pylori. Prilosec is the brand name of Omeprazole, an antacid that is available over the counter in the U.S. market.
GERD symptoms and Prilosec usage: Before you detect yourself as a sufferer of GERD, you need to identify symptoms of the disease. These include burning sensation in the chest, difficulty in swallowing, chronic chest pain and occasional headaches with heartburns. If you have occasional heartburns, that is not a problem. But if you are a frequent victim (say you have heartburns more than 2 times every week), then maybe you are suffering from GERD. Though Prilosec is an over the counter drug, you need to consult with a doctor for adequate treatment of your heartburn. This would mean ruling out any possibility of other disorders (for which GERD maybe a symptom).
Prilosec Dosage: Use Prilosec as instructed by your physician. The ideal dosage is one pill a day for a period of 14 days. You can repeat this dosage every 4 months if symptoms persist. However, you should not stop taking the drug if your GERD symptoms vanish in a few days of taking Prilosec. This is because though the symptoms vanish, the problem with your acid secretion may still exist. So, complete the 14 day routine to get a complete cure. Also avoid taking the drug with Plavix, blood thinners, Valium, Antabuse, Dilantin, ampicillin, cyclosporine and iron tablets.
Prilosec side effects: Stop taking Prilosec if you have the following side effects: painful swallowing, blood vomits and black or bloody stools. Seek medical advice if you have side effects like wheezing, arm pain, jaw pain, neck pain, dizziness or lightheadedness.
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