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What medications are used to treat acid reflux?

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Quick Answer

Medications used for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, include histamine-2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors and promotility agents, according to WebMD. Some treatments for GERD are available without a prescription, while others are available by prescription only.

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H2 blockers work by blocking the histamines that stimulate acid in the stomach, explains WebMD. For this reason, they are generally most effective when taken about 30 minutes before eating. To lessen the production of acid while sleeping, it also helps to take the medication before bedtime. H2 blockers are good for treating heartburn and reflux, but are not as effective as some other remedies when it comes to treating the inflammation of the esophagus that GERD causes. Some of the most popular H2 blockers on the market as of 2015 include Axid, Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac.

PPIs are generally more effective than H2 blockers, advises WebMD. Like H2 blockers, PPIs also block acid production, but can be used for a longer period of time. Some of the most popular include Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix and Nexium.

Promotility agents treat GERD by stimulating the gastrointestinal tract muscles to lessen the amount of time that acid remains in the stomach, while also strengthening the esophageal spinchter. Regland is one of the most commonly use promotility agents, as of 2015, notes WebMD.

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