Showing posts with label heartburn. Show all posts

Aciphex (Rabeprazole)

Aciphex (rabeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor used to treat GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and duodenal ulcers.

aciphex

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) occurs when stomach acid leaks out of the stomach and into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn and damage to the inner lining of the esophagus (erosive esophagitis). Aciphex (rabeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor often used to prevent GERD symptoms.

How Aciphex Works

The active compound in Aciphex is rabeprazole sodium, which limits the stomach lining’s ability to produce gastric acid (hydrochloric acid). Reducing stomach acid alleviates GERD symptoms and gives the esophagus time to heal. When taken with antibiotics, Aciphex is used to treat duodenal ulcers.

Aciphex Doses

Aciphex is generally taken for four to eight weeks to relieve GERD symptoms and heal damage caused by erosive esophagitis. If this time frame is insufficient a further four to eight weeks is warranted.

Aciphex is also taken over long periods of time to treat chronic GERD and other conditions caused by excessive stomach acid. The medication is usually taken once a day, and can be taken with or without food. Aciphex pills should not be crushed, chewed or split as the pill is designed to release rabeprazole sodium slowly.

If you miss a dose of Aciphex, take the dose as soon as you remember. An exception to this rule occurs if you are close to your next dose, in which case skip the missed dose.

Rabeprazole Drug Interactions

Before taking Aciphex inform your doctor of any other medication, vitamins, or herbal supplements you take. You should not take rabeprazole sodium if you are allergic to proton pump inhibitor medications including:
  • Aciphex (rabeprazole)
  • Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Prevacid (lansoprazole)
  • Prilosec (omeprazole)
  • Protonix (pantoprazole)
  • Zegerid (omeprazole).
Patients with liver disease should inform doctors of their condition before taking Aciphex.

Aciphex may interact with other medications, so be sure to provide your doctor with a complete list of current medications. Be sure to inform your doctor if you take blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin), Nizoral (ketoconazole) or medication containing cyclosporine such as Sandimmune or Neoral.

Pregnancy and Aciphex

Aciphex is not considered harmful to an unborn child, but expectant mothers should inform their doctors they take Aciphex. It is not known if rabeprazole sodium can be transferred by breast milk, and doctors may recommend stopping Aciphex treatment while breastfeeding.

Aciphex Side-Effects

As a rule, Aciphex is a well tolerated medication. Like any drug, however, the possibility of unwanted side effects exists. Side effects of Aciphex can include insomnia, headaches, diarrhea, upset stomachs, nervousness, rashes and itching. Seek immediate medical attention if Aciphex use triggers hives, facial swelling (including the lips, tongue and / or throat) or difficulty breathing.

Aciphex and Osteoporosis

While Aciphex is considered safe for long term use, a study published in 2008 suggests a link between long-term use of Aciphex and bone fractures.
Disclaimer: The information contained within this article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute in any way for care and treatment by a qualified health professional.

Resources

Drugs.com (updated 24 July, 2008).
RxList. (n.d.). Aciphex.

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Treating Stomach Acid and Heartburn

When food is eaten, digestion actually begins in the mouth where the process of chewing, along with the production of selected enzymes, readies the food for swallowing and processing in the gastrointestinal tract. In order to perform its job, the stomach produces hydrochloric acid and some digestive enzymes to aid in the breakdown of the food that was just eaten.

In order to activate the digestive enzymes that it produces, the stomach must produce acid. This takes place in the parietal cells. The stomach lining normally has special secretions which protect it from the corrosive effects of this acid. Unfortunately, the lining of the esophagus does not. Sometimes excess acid production, or mishandling of the acid that is there, leads to some of it reaching the bottom of the esophagus causing heartburn. There are numerous ways to deal with this “burning issue”.

Regular Antacids

Common over-the-counter antacids have been around for many years. Consisting of compounds such as calcium carbonate or aluminum hydroxide or other similar chemicals, these substances are all alkaline in nature. When they enter the stomach they combine with the acid neutralizing it; that is they bring the pH of the stomach up from the acid range closer to neutral pH. These compounds are used by millions of people every day and are generally both well tolerated and safe with some exceptions.

Prokinetic Agents

One class of medicines that is used for short terms to treat sustained heartburn is known as “prokinetic agents”. Drugs such as metoclopramide (known widely as Reglan) increase the speed at which the stomach empties its contents into the small intestine. This class of drugs has been used extensively over the years but care must be taken as they are known to cause muscle movement problems, especially in older women.

Histamine Receptor Blockers

cimetidine
Drugs of this class are more recent additions to the armamentarium of treatments for problems related to stomach acid. Some of the more widely used forms of these drugs include: cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), famotidine (Pepcid). These drugs act by inhibiting the activity of a specific class of receptors for the chemical known as histamine. When the above drugs bind to these receptors on the parietal cells in the stomach, they act to interfere with the signals that tell these cells to produce acid.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

Stomach parietal cells produce acid because they can pump significant quantities of protons (H+ in chemistry terms) across their cell membranes. To counteract the ability of parietal cells to actually make acid, the proton pump inhibitors were developed. These drugs act directly on the cell membrane pump most responsible for the production of acid, blocking it and thus lowering the acidity of the stomach. This class of drugs includes medications such as omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), esomeprazole (Nexium), and pantoprazole (Protonix).

Drugs used to treat stomach acid and heartburn are some of the most widely taken compounds in the world. Remember that persistent heartburn can be a sign of more serious conditions. If you suffer from serious heartburn always remember to speak with your family health care professional.
To learn more about stomach acid and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) visit this informative site at the US National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

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How To Stop the Heartburn

Heartburn
Heartburn typically results from excess acidity in the stomach or from improper operation of your digestive system. At the point where the esophagus and stomach join, a special muscle opens and closes the esophagus. When we swallow food this muscle relaxes to let the food pass into the stomach and after that it closes again. But it can happen that the muscle malfunctions. The components of the stomach then rise again up the esophagus, irritating the area. And this results in the infamous feeling of heartburn.

In order to stop it avoid acidic foods (lemons, etc.), alcohol, fat or fried food, food that is overcooked, coffee, juice, tomato base products and chocolate. But don’t deny yourself too much. You have to notice which foods bring on heartburn and avoid them. Also, don’t go to sleep right after the meal and don’t smoke, especially after meals.
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