8 Tips to Treat Acid Reflux and GERD

JANUARY 26, 2016
Meghan Ross, Senior Associate Editor
If patients come to the pharmacy with ailments like heartburn, stomach pain, and difficulty swallowing, they may have acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Heartburn, which affects around 10 million US adults, is the most common symptom of GERD and may be felt in the stomach or throat. It may also be accompanied by an acidic taste in the mouth.

Pharmacists can counsel patients looking for OTC recommendations, advise patients to use a diary to keep track of reflux triggers, and inform pregnant women that symptoms will likely disappear after they give birth.

Pharmacists can also serve as watchdogs for inappropriate proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use.

In a recent study, pharmacists found 383 drug-related problems among 145 patients taking PPIs. The most common issues were drug interactions, untreated indications, overdosages, and drugs used without a valid indication.

The Centers for Gastroenterology provides a useful overview of symptoms, treatment options, and definitions of acid reflux and GERD.

Here are some of the center’s tips that pharmacists can share with patients who are not as excited about GERD as this girl: