Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

OTC Guide, 2022 OTC Guide,

Most individuals can manage the discomfort of GERD with lifestyle changes and OTC medications.

Insights:

  • Many individuals experience acid reflux from time to time.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is mild acid reflux that occurs at least twice a week or moderate to severe acid reflux that occurs at least once a week.
  • Most individuals can manage the discomfort of GERD with lifestyle changes and OTC medications. But some individuals with GERD may need stronger medications or surgery to ease symptoms.
  • Symptoms may include a burning sensation in the chest usually after eating, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of food or sour liquid, and the sensation of a lump in the throat.
  • Risk factors may include certain foods, connective tissue disorders, delayed stomach emptying, eating large meals, obesity, pregnancy, or smoking.
  • Diagnosis tools include ambulatory acid probe test, esophageal manometry, upper endoscopy, and x-ray.
  • Treatment includes antacids such as Mylanta, Rolaids, and Tums. They also include medications such as H2-receptor blockers cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), and nizatidine (Axid). Proton pump inhibitors may also be used, such as Prevacid and Prilosec.