Why are acid reducers used?
Acid reducers may be used to:
- Treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Treat ulcers.
- Help prevent problems in people who are at risk for ulcers, like those who take NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) long-term and those who are in the hospital.
What about side effects?
All medicines can cause side effects. Many people don't have side effects. And minor side effects sometimes go away after a while.
But sometimes side effects can be a problem or can be serious.
- H2 blockers. They can sometimes cause headaches, dizziness, diarrhea or constipation, or nausea and vomiting.
- Proton pump inhibitors. Headaches and diarrhea are the most common side effects. Using PPIs for a long time can increase your risk for infections or broken bones.
Cautions about acid reducers
General cautions for all medicines include the following:
- Allergic reactions: All medicines can cause a reaction. This can sometimes be an emergency. Before you take any new medicine, tell the doctor or pharmacist about any past allergic reactions you've had.
- Drug interactions: Sometimes one medicine may keep another medicine from working well. Or you may get a side effect you didn't expect. Medicines may also interact with certain foods or drinks, like grapefruit juice and alcohol. Some interactions can be dangerous.
- Harm to unborn babies and newborns: If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of the medicines you take could harm your baby.
- Other health problems: Before taking a medicine, be sure your doctor or pharmacist knows about all your health problems. Other health problems may affect your medicine. Or the medicine for one health problem may affect another health problem.