Sufferers of this condition have sought the best medication for acid reflux. But what is it?
Firstly, let's briefly touch on what causes acid reflux. Acid reflux, also known as GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (a valve at the bottom of the food pipe) fails and allows stomach acid to escape into the esophagus where its presence is felt as a painful burning sensation.
So, the best medication for acid reflux should prevent acid from coming into contact with the esophagus.
In times gone by, medicines have achieved this in different ways.
For instance, antacids are made of chalk which is effective for “mopping up" and neutralising acidity so that if acid makes its way into the esophagus, it is nearly neutral in acidity (pH) and does not cause any bad symptoms.
Later, H2 blockers were developed and were considered to be the best medication for acid reflux. They worked by cutting down production of stomach acid and therefore lowering the severity of acid reflux symptoms.
In the past ten years however, H2 blockers have hardly been used due to a newer and better alternative - PPIs or proton pump inhibitors - these are now considered to be the best medication for acid reflux.
PPIs are chemically very different to H2 blockers, though they also work by cutting acid production. Unlike their earlier counterparts, however, they cut acid production in the stomach by over 99%. Hence, their new title as the best medication for acid reflux.
Like various antidepressants, PPIs have become cash cows for drug companies. In 2006, Nexium and Prevacid were the world's 3rd and 4th biggest selling drugs, both of which are PPIs. Only cholesterol lowering drugs sold more.
Are you still searching for that elusive cure for heartburn and reflux? Discover the latest cures and information for GERD and acid reflux at Heartburn Cures .