Minor Ailments » Gastroesophageal reflux disease (Reflux/ Hearburn) » Acid Reflux (GERD Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Acid Reflux (GERD Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

You might experience a few of the following signs:

GERD Mister Pharmacist Assessment link


Treatment for uncomplicated acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), typically involves lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. These may include:

  • Avoiding foods and drinks that can aggravate acid reflux, such as fatty foods, spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol
  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals instead of large meals
  • Waiting at least 3 hours after eating before lying down or going to bed
  • Losing weight if you are overweight or obese
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothing
  • Avoiding tight waistbands, belts or clothing that put pressure on the abdomen
  • Over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums, Rolaids, PeptoBismol, AlkaSelzter which can neutralize stomach acid and provide quick relief
  • Over-the-counter H2 receptor antagonists, such as famotidine (Pepcid® or Pepcid Complete®) , which can reduce stomach acid production and provide longer-lasting relief
  • Over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as esomeprazole (Nexium® 20mg), which can also reduce stomach acid production and provide longer-lasting relief

If these measures do not provide relief, Mister Pharmacist may recommend additional treatments such as prescription-strength medications (Nexium® 40mg, Prevacid, Dexilant).

If insufficient to help in 2-4 weeks, your doctor should be consulted and could potentially add prokinetics (drugs that help to strengthen the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus) or in some cases surgery.

It’s important to see a doctor if you have persistent symptoms, difficulty swallowing, or the current treatments have not been effective.

red flag
Red Flags that should highly encourage you to see a doctor
Severe symptoms interfering with daily activities
Pain in chest, shoulder, neck, arm
Shortness of breath or sweating
Difficulty swallowing or severe pain when swallowing
Repeated vomiting, bloody/black vomit, &/or unexplained weight loss
Dark/black or tarry bowel movements
Chronic coughing, choking, wheezing, hoarse throat, sore throat, or throat clearing
Dizziness, fatigue, pale skin, cold hands/feet
Immediate family member has had a cancer of the gastrointestinal tract/digestive system
Abnormal growth or swelling in stomach
History of H. Pylori infection

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