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Do you suffer from acid reflux and heartburn? There's good news: it's possible to ease your symptoms without a prescription!
Many of us have suffered from heartburn. Most of the time, this pain is not serious and the various products sold over-the-counter are sufficient to adequately relieve it. However, for some, this excess acidity can be related to a more serious problem that will require medical attention.
Acid reflux (or gastric reflux) is a digestive disorder where the acidic stomach contents go back into the oesophagus. Heartburn is the most common manifestation of acid reflux. However, other symptoms can also be present such as difficulty swallowing, eructation (burping), unpleasant taste in the mouth or bad breath.
Heartburn and acid reflux are common ailments for which people often consult a pharmacist.
Certain over-the-counter medications can be taken to relieve heartburn.
Antacids act by neutralizing excessive acid present in the stomach. Owing to their rapid action, they are useful to relieve incisive heartburn; their action is short-lived.
These products must be used on an occasional basis. Speak to your pharmacist before using them. Some products may not be suitable for you or may interact with the medications you take.
Acid blockers act by limiting acid secretion in the stomach. Their effectiveness lasts for about nine hours, but they may take up to an hour to act. To prevent heartburn, they should be taken one hour before meals. This medication can be taken once or twice a day.
This drug class was formerly only available with a prescription. It is now possible to purchase PPIs over-the-counter. However, they are kept behind the pharmacy counter. These products do not act by neutralizing gastric acid, but rather by preventing its secretion. They act for a period of 24 hours.
Consult your doctor if your symptoms persist for more than two weeks, if they worsen or if you feel no relief after taking an over-the-counter product. It may be necessary to identify the cause of symptoms and attempt to eliminate them. In addition, your situation may require a prescribed treatment. Speak to your doctor about the different treatment options available to you.
You must see a doctor immediately if you:
Speak to your pharmacist if you have any questions about acid reflux or heartburn.
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