Treatment for a peptic ulcer, which affects the stomach, small intestine or esophagus, includes antibiotic medicines that eliminate H. pylori, drugs that block acid production, and antacids that relieve pain and neutralize stomach acid, according to Mayo Clinic. Doctors may also recommend cytoprotective agents, which protect the stomach lining.
To kill H. pylori in the digestive tract, doctors typically suggest taking antibiotics and medications that decrease stomach acid for up to two weeks, says Mayo Clinic. Proton pump inhibitors are medications that impede the activities of certain cells that create acid. Esomeprazole, rabeprazole and lansoprazole are a few over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors.
Acid blockers are medications that can control the amount of stomach acid that goes into the digestive tract, thereby alleviating ulcer pain and promoting healing, explains Mayo Clinic. Doctors sometimes prescribe antacids to relieve symptoms, although this treatment method does not heal an ulcer.
Most treatment methods for peptic ulcers successfully lead to ulcer healing, notes Mayo Clinic. However, some people suffer refractory ulcers, which are peptic ulcers that do not heal despite treatment due to the presence of an antibiotic-resistant H. pylori, failure of a patient to take medications according to the doctor's instructions, constant use of tobacco or constant use of pain relievers. In these cases, doctors may suggest further treatment to eliminate factors that hamper the healing process.