In many cases, lifestyle changes combined with over-the-counter medications are all you need to control the symptoms of acid reflux disease.
Antacids can neutralize the acid from your stomach. But they may cause diarrhea or constipation, especially if you overuse them. It's best to use antacids that contain both magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide. When combined, they may help counteract these gastrointestinal side effects.
If antacids don't help, your doctor may try other medications. Some require a prescription. Your doctor may suggest more than one type or suggest you try a combination of medications such as these:
- Foaming agents coat your stomach to prevent reflux.
- H2 blockers decrease acid production.
- Proton pump inhibitors also reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes.
- Prokinetics can help strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), empty your stomach faster, and reduce acid reflux.
Don't combine more than one type of antacid or other medications without your doctor's guidance.
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