LAM Extra for General Practicioners

[USE OF DRUGS FOR GASTRIC ACID REDUCTION IN GENERAL PRACTICE]

HAJNAL Ferenc

APRIL 21, 2009

LAM Extra for General Practicioners - 2009;1(02)

[In order to facilitate (general) practitioner’s therapeutic decisions, this overview reviews advantages and disadvantages of three drug classes used for acid reduction, as to antacids, histamine 2-receptor antagonists (H2RAs), and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). The possibilities and mechanisms of gastric acid reduction are detailed. This can be achieved either by neutralization of gastric acid by systemic or non-systemic antacids, or by inhibiting acid secretion by H2RAs and PPIs. PPIs are the strongest acid reducing agents indispensable in gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), eradication therapy for Helicobacter pylori ulcers and Zollinger- Ellison syndrome, and they are first choice in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) induced gastropathy, epigastric pain syndrome, and functional upper GI dyspepsia. Nonetheless, antacids and H2RAs are faster in relieving pain in the latter pain syndrome and in acute heartburn. Contraindications and adverse effects of these three drug classes are also detailed. The author has concluded that physicians’ up-to-date awareness of these compounds’ pharmacological properties contributes to their ability to tailor acid reduction therapy to patients’ individual needs. Refreshing and expanding this knowledge will finally benefit patients seen in everyday practice.]

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