Health Watch - Heartburn: Medication

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about heartburn and what you can do about it. We’ve been talking about how what you eat can trigger heartburn. But what if you just can’t resist those tempting foods? There are medications that can help.

The traditional treatment for heartburn has been antacids, which soak up excess stomach acid so it’s less likely to flow up into the esophagus. But these are generally taken after you’ve already got heartburn symptoms, and they don’t stop the stomach from forming more acid. Now there are medicines called histamine receptor blockers that stop the production of stomach acid. These are taken before you eat foods that are likely to trigger heartburn.

Dr. Stuart Spechler, a digestive specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says even if you don’t anticipate a heartburn-causing meal, the combination of one of these histamine receptor blockers and an antacid may help get stomach acid under control when you have heartburn.


February 2011

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