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Pete,

Eamon 1 is wrong about a few things, but on the right track.

Eamon 1 said:
"Hi Pete, GORD or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is a build up of stomach acid often causing a niggling burning sensation in your chest. Ranitidine is designed to block this build-up. "

Pete, the condition is called GERD, not GORD. And it's short for gastroesophogeal reflux diseace. Around here, we call it acid reflux. Acid does not "build up" in your chest. The problem is actually a weak lower esophogeal spinchter - which is the area of pressure that controls food entering your stomach. When it weakens, it allow food back up your esophogous, and that food/stomach contents contains irritating acid.

Most people experience acid reflux events every day, but they are very minor and the LES is considered to be functioning properly. However, in some people, the LES becomes much weaker, and these acid reflux events are more signficant, and lead to frequent bouts of "burning" or hearburn. When the acid gets really high and goes all the way up the esophogous, it can even cough chronic coughing.

You are on a high dose of Ranitidine, which is part of the earlier generation of acid-reducers, called H-2 blockers. Ranitidine is the primary medication in drugs like Zantac and Pepcid and Tagament. Ranitidine is simply the generic name of that particular H-2 blocker.

Ranitidine is most helpful for individuals who suffer occasional but significant heartburn.

When a person begins getting the burning feeling every day, their condition is considered "chronic" meaning, long lasting. Sometimes it will go away if you lose weight, but as you are already underweight or thin, it probably won't away in your case. So you should plan on continuing to take the Ranitidine. If you run out and haven't gotten a prescription refilled yet, you can go down to the pharmacy and pick up some Zantac or Tagamet and take the equivalent of 300 mg. I think Zantac comes in 75 or 150 mg sizes, so you would take 2 or 4 of them to make it the equivalent of 300 mg. Zantac is pretty cheap, so you won't blow the bank by doing this.

But H-2 blockers were the previous generation of acid-reducers. The current generation is called "PPIs", short for Proton-Pump Inhibitors. With 1 exception, they are all sold by prescription and are very expensive. They are expensive, but are extremely effective and most people with chronic GERD and on them as insurance pays for them. Should the ranitidine not continue to provide you with enough symptom relief, then you would consider a PPI.

They are sold under the names:
Nexium
Prilosec (BRAND) not OTC
Prevacid
Aciphex
Protonix
Zegrid

There is one PPI sold over the counter, called Prilosec OTC. Stay away from it, it is not real Prilosec and is made by a different company. There is noone on the Acid Reflux message board who has been helped by PRilosec OTC.

So come visit the acid reflux board here at healthboards if you want some stimulating acid conversation.