How do you help alleviate high acid levels in the stomach?


Quick Answer

Medications designed to treat ulcers also lower levels of stomach acid. The most common categories of medications include antacids, proton pump inhibitors, bismuth subsalicylate and H2 receptor antagonists, notes Madeline Vann for Everyday Health.

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Full Answer

Antacids made from calcium carbonate and sold over the counter are the most common medical intervention used to cut down on stomach acid levels. Mylanta, Maalox and Tums are the most popular antacids in this category. Gaviscon is an aluminum/magnesium trisilicate antacid, and all antacids alter the stomach's pH balance to cut down on acidity, according to Vann.

In situations where antacids do not reduce the discomfort of excess stomach acid, a proton pump inhibitor is one of the next steps. These drugs keep the stomach from producing acid at normal levels. Common proton pump inhibitors include omeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, pantoprazole and esomeprazole. All except the first are only available with a prescription, as a lengthy regimen is often necessary, explains Vann.

As far as other medical options, H2 receptor antagonists cut down on acid production, and common drugs in this class include nizatidine, famotidine, ranitidine and cimetidine. Medicines that have bismuth subsalicylate, such as Pepto-Bismol, are more common for patients with high stomach acid and ulcers in the process of healing, says Vann.

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