Did you know there are many more medications available for treatment of heartburn. These are available over the counter without a prescription after a short consultation with a Pharmacist. These are typically some of the same medications that are available on prescription but in a smaller dose.
Did you know up to 1 in 5 Australians experience heartburn at least once a week1
These stronger medications can work in two ways:
If you suffer occasional symptoms you may also benefit from an H2-receptor antagonist. Some of these medicines are available without a prescription.These medicines partially inhibit the secretion of acid in the stomach by blocking the histamine receptors. Because less acid is being produced, you experience fewer symptoms during reflux. These drugs are less effective at acid suppression than the proton pump inhibitors (see below). If you are not getting relief from an H2-receptor antagonist even though you are taking it regularly, you should mention it to your doctor at your next visit.
PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS
Proton pump inhibitors are a type of drug that reduce stomach acid by blocking the acid-secreting cells. They produce more effective acid suppression than the H2-receptor antagonists, relieving symptoms and allowing inflammation on the oesophagus to heal. Some proton pump inhibitors can be purchased from a pharmacy for short-term use, but most are only available on prescription.
1. Digestive Health Foundation, Gastroenterological Society Of Australia. Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in adults. Guidelines for clinicians. 4th edition, 2008.