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How do you treat a peptic ulcer?

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Quick Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, a peptic ulcer is typically treated with medications including antibiotics, acid blockers, proton pump inhibitors, cytoprotective agents and antacids. The type of medication chosen to treat an ulcer depends on what caused the initial symptoms.

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Full Answer

Mayo Clinic explains that antibiotic medications are prescribed if H. pylori bacteria is found in the digestive tract. In this case, antibiotics are taken for two weeks to kill the bacteria. Drugs that work as proton pump inhibitors help reduce stomach acid by blocking acid producing cells. A calcium supplement may be needed if taking proton pump inhibitors over the long-term. Acid blocking medications, also known as histamine blockers, reduce the amount of stomach acid going into the digestive tract. These medications also relieve pain symptoms.

Another class of medications called cytoprotective agents may be prescribed to protect fragile tissues that line the small intestine and stomach, notes Mayo Clinic. An over-the-counter antacid drug may be added to the medication regimen in order to provide quick pain relief by neutralizing stomach acid. While antacids provide temporary relief of pain, they do not help to heal an ulcer. Sometimes an ulcer fails to heal, which is called a refractory ulcer. Lack of healing may be due to other factors such as resistance to antibiotics, smoking or another disease.

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