Understanding Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) -- Diagnosis and Treatment
Conventional Medicine for GERD continued...
Proton pump inhibitors are effective in reducing symptoms and promoting healing of any inflammation. But when you stop taking the drugs, symptoms may rebound or return quickly. So if you use these drugs, you should work out a plan with your doctor for long-term GERD management.
Occasionally, motility drugs such as Reglan (metoclopramide) can be used to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter and speed the emptying of the stomach to reduce symptoms of GERD. Unfortunately, these drugs have multiple side effects that limit their usefulness. Long-term (more than three months) use of Reglan is not recommended due to possible development of irreversible neurologic side effects. In fact, there is a warning from the FDA against long-term use of Reglan.
If drug therapy is ineffective, your doctor may suggest surgery or an endoscopic procedure to help prevent GERD.
If you have GERD, be sure your doctor knows about other medicines -- prescription and nonprescription -- that you take. Drugs such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, and birth control pills, can worsen symptoms of GERD. Also, some medications may have side effects if combined with some GERD medications.