About Prescription Medications for Acid Reflux
This is a follow-up to an earlier post on treatments for acid reflux.
Unless otherwise noted, all content Copyright, Neva J. Howell
An Apple a Day Keeps the Reflux Away?
I’ve seen at least a half-dozen references to eating apples for acid reflux, on various forums and websites. Apparently, this is something that has helped people with reflux disease but I’ve yet to find any information on why this particular fruit would be so helpful at reducing symptoms.
I did, of course, suggest eating apples to my mom because surely there is no harm in eating an apple….well, except for the pesticides of course. Apples, of almost all fruits, are the most heavily sprayed with pesticides.
Peeling helps to remove part of that toxicity but also removes fiber and important nutrients in the peel. Organic apples are best, if you can find them, particularly in the case of apple juice, which lots of children drink. It’s so concentrated.
I always try to eat organic foods as much as I can but it isn’t always practical in our small, rural town and also, mom is on a fixed income. I sometimes buy them for her but that starts making her feel uncomfortable after a while. Maybe the pesticides are not as harmful for her as the reflux. It’s worth a try.
Prescription Drugs for Acid Reflux / Drug Interactions
The most commonly prescribed drugs to treat Acid Reflux Disease are Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Pepcid, Zantac, Carafate, Protonix, Reglan and AcipHex. As with almost any prescription drug, these all had side effects to consider, and some more than others….
I saw a lot of references to weight gain with Nexium…. also nausea, diarrhea and headaches seemed to be commonly reported. The list of potential side effects for Nexium, or for any of the other drugs mentioned above, is a mile long. I stopped counting at 100 potential side effects on one prescription drug site I visited, for example. I did notice sinusitis as a potential side effect and mom suffers from chronic sinusitis since going on all her medications. Who knows if Nexium is a factor in that or not?
In looking at the side effects for the other drugs used to treat reflux besides Nexium, some of the same ones kept showing up….nausea, diarrhea, headaches.
Prevacid side effects can include those three common side effects, along with a long list of others. Same is true with Protonix, Pepcid, Zantac (actually, found reference to common experience of severe headache with Zantac, not just headache), Aciphex (headaches appeared to be most common side effect of this one) and Prilosec.
Interestingly enough, I also saw reference to “acid regurgitation” being a possible side effect with prilosec. Oh, fun.
The info on Reglan contained a bit different side effect warnings, and some that made me think I’d rather have one of the other meds, if I was going to take any of them. Reglan potential side effects included suicidal feelings, convulsive seizures and hallucinations. One bizzare thing I read was that it could cause “rhythmic protusion of tongue”. To me, that means sticking your tongue out over and over, compulsively, right? Weird.
Update: I’ve noticed my mom has what I would call a rhythmic protusion of tongue now, sometimes. She does not take Reglan but is on chemo for cancer. I wonder if Reglan has some effect on the neurological system in some people that might be similar in some way to what chemo does?
Of all these drugs, Carafate had the shortest side-effect list and the least serious or life-threatening side effects listed. However, it may be newer than the others so maybe in time…that list may grow.
Learn more about potential side effects of prescription drugs used to treat Acid Reflux Disease. Info on related condition: What is GERD?
Please note that the side effects I’ve mentioned are a mere fraction of all those that might result from taking these medications so please consult with your doctor and also with your pharmacist if you are having troubling symptoms that you feel might be the result of drug interactions.