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Old 03-27-2009, 05:00 AM   #2
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Re: So Many Meds: Please help me Choose

I did the Prilosec 14-day trial, but I feel it didn't work
14 days is really not enough time to have any significant impact on acid reflux. It typically takes 8-12 weeks to really see improvement, but you should probably see a doctor if you're going to take it for that long.

What differences have you noticed between Prilosec, Nexium, Zantac, etc.?
Prilosec and Nexium are very similar chemically, but Nexium is much stronger (and is prescription-only and much more expensive). Both Nexium and Prilosec are Proton Pump Inhibitors, the most effective class of acid-reducing medications. Zantac is part of a different class of medications (H2 Receptor Agonists) that must be taken more frequently and is less effective at decreasing the reduction of stomach acid. If you have GERD, Zantac alone is probably not strong enough to help treat your reflux.

I'd prefer maybe something I don't have to take everyday.
There is no such medication, you must take any medication every day in order to reverse the symptoms of GERD. Acid reflux causes irritation in the esophagus, and the first step in treatment is giving those irritated areas time to heal, which requires daily medication and takes time.

The medication alone will not cure GERD but will give your body time to heal. From there you have to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to minimize the recurrence of acid reflux, including: limiting foods like coffee, peppermint, chocolate, alcohol, tomato-based sauces and other triggers that tend to cause reflux. Raising the head of your bed 4-6 inches to help keep acid from refluxing while you sleep. Eating smaller meals and eating meals at least 3 hours before going to bed. Losing weight (if necessary) and avoiding tight fitting clothing around your abdomen.

It's really important that you combine the medication with lifestyle changes and patience in order to successfully treat GERD.