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Do you still need to treat your heartburn?

Published on February 15, 2018 at 0:00 / Updated on May 2, 2018 at 12:32

PPIs are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in Canada. They are also available without a prescription, but under pharmacist control (behind the counter). They are used to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn, as well as other more severe conditions such as esophagitis and Barrett's esophagus.

While PPIs are safe and generally cause no adverse effects when used over a short period, prolonged use can carry some risks. For example, they may increase the risk of fractures, severe diarrhea and pneumonia. These risks increase along with age and duration of treatment.

Individuals who take PPIs for heartburn on a regular basis should take the time to speak to their doctor or pharmacist about whether it is appropriate for them to continue their treatment. The CPhA recommends attempting a dose reduction, or a gradual complete cessation of the treatment.

There are other options for relieving occasional heartburn, such as antacids and acid reducers. Antacids act within a few minutes, but their effect doesn’t last long. Acid reducers take longer to take effect (about 30 to 60 minutes), but their effect lasts longer.

Don’t neglect the impact that lifestyle can have on your acid reflux and heartburn:

  • don’t lie down after eating
  • avoid or reduce your consumption of spicy or acidic foods
  • consume alcohol in moderation
  • lose a bit of weight if needed
  • sleep with your head elevated

If you have any questions on the treatment of heartburn, don’t hesitate to speak to your pharmacist.

The drugs and pharmaceutical services featured on the website are offered by pharmacists who own the affiliated pharmacies at Familiprix. The information contained on the site is for informational purposes only and does not in any way replace the advice and advice of your pharmacist or any other health professional. Always consult a health professional before taking or discontinuing medication or making any other decision. Familiprix inc. and the proprietary pharmacists affiliated with Familiprix do not engage in any way by making this information available on this website.