Chronic Heartburn Treatment
- H2 blockers like Tagamet (Tagamet-HB, over the counter) treat chronic heartburn by decreasing acid production. These medications help about half of those afflicted with chronic heartburn and/or GERD symptoms.
Proton Pump Inhibitors
- Like H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec (Prilosec OTC, over the counter) help relieve symptoms. However, unlike H2 blockers, this group of medicine also heals damage caused to the esophageal lining.
- Your physician may prescribe prokinetics like Alimentz to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve separating the esophagus and stomach). The side effects of this group of prescription medications include fatigue, depression and anxiety.
Alternative to Drug Therapy
- If a patient doesn't respond to drug therapy, a physician will likely suggest surgery as an alternative to chronic heartburn.
- Surgeons may use endoscopic techniques like the Bard EndoCinch Suturing System to cure chronic heartburn. These techniques involve an endoscope, used to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter and prevent future heartburn from occurring.