Other Drugs Used for Indigestion Relief

Aside from Alminum Hydroxide and Calcium Carbonate, there are other drugs that were proven to offer immediate indigestion relief. Here is a brief drug study of Magnesium Oxide and Simethicone.

Magnesium Oxide

Magnesium oxide has brand names including Mag ox 400, Maox, and Uromag. It is under the pharmacological class of magnesium salt and pregnancy risk category B. It is available in capsules and tablets. It is indicated for patients with acid indigestion and those who need oral replacement therapy in mild hypomagnesemia. Its mode of action is the reduction of total acid load in the gastrointestinal tract, elevation of gastric pH to reduce pepsin activity, strengthening of gastric mucosal barrier, and increasing esophageal sphincter tone.

Adverse reactions include diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and hypermagnesmia. It may affect the magnesium level so inform the doctor regarding it for lab tests results. It is contraindicated to patients with severe kidney disease. It must be used cautiously in patients with mild renal impairment because it may aggravate the condition.

Some considerations when giving the drug include monitoring the magnesium level closely. Signs of increasing magnesium levels are hypotension, nausea, vomiting, depressed reflexes, respiratory depression, and coma. If diarrhea occurs, use a different drug.

Patient Teaching

Advise the patient not to take the drug indiscriminately or to switch anatacids without prescription. Urge patient to report signs of gastrointestinal bleeding like melena or black tarry stools and hemoptysis or blood tinged vomitus.

Simethicone

Simethicone has brand names of Flatulex, Gas X, and Maalox. It is under the pharmacological class of polydimethylsiloxanes and pregnancy risk category C. It is available in capsules, tablets, drops, and chewable tablets. It is indicated for patients with flatulence problems and functional gastric bloating. Its mode of action is that it disperses or prevents formation of mucus surrounded gas pockets in the gastrointestinal tract.

Adverse reactions are belching and flatus. It has no known drug to drug interactions, as well as significant effect on laboratory test results. It is contraindicated in patients hypersensitive to drug and infants with colic. Simethicone does not prevent gas formation and must not be confused with cimetidine since they sound alike.

Patient Teaching

Tell the patient to chew the tablet thoroughly before swallowing to facilitate better absorption. If taken by an infant, inform the parents that drops may be mixed with cool water, infant formula, or juice. Advise patient that changing positions often and walking will help greatly in the passage of flatus, thus providing indigestion relief.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) Are Not As Benign As Previously Thought

Anti-inflammatory drugs are one of the first line treatments for patients with acute or even chronic pain. They are nonaddictive, cheap, and are typically well-tolerated in most individuals. Ten years ago, the American Geriatrics Society recommended nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for musculoskeletal pain. Most recently however, the AGS has deviated from those guidelines and recommends that NSAIDS be considered rarely and with extreme caution in highly selected individuals.

They also recommend that acetaminophen be utilized for both the initial and ongoing treatment of persistent pain. Prior to being prescribed an NSAID, the AGS had previously recommended that seniors use either an over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory.

Traditional NSAIDS have adverse gastrointestinal problems in about 20% of individuals. This amounts to over 16,000 deaths annually from these gastrointestinal issues, along with over 100,000 hospitalizations.

The non-steroidals that specifically inhibit COX-2 produce fewer gastrointestinal adverse events than traditional ones but they still have the potential for problems in the elderly population. They can cause problems with high blood pressure, they can lead to kidney impairment, and gastrointestinal problems along with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.

Last year a study was done by the Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley healthcare system looking at over 300,000 Medicaid patients. Concerns were raised about multiple nonsteroidals including rofecoxib and valdecoxib. The study showed a tendency toward increased risk of stroke with these medications and although these findings were not statistically significant both drugs have since been taken off the market.

There has also been some recent evidence showing that combining low-dose aspirin therapy with a traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Five years ago, the FDA warned against taking these 2 drugs together for a different reason. It’s still not completely clear if they interfere with the cardioprotective aspects of low-dose aspirin.

The new guidelines recommend doctors to consider narcotic treatment for individuals with moderate to severe pain or reduced quality of life with chronic pain to achieve steady-state opioid therapy. This is essentially a a very new approach to pain recommending potentially addictive substances over NSAIDS.

When seniors have persistent pain, it is not a normal part of aging. Therefore it should not be ignored, however, the risks of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory’s are greater than was previously known. Therefore the new recommendations have brought opioids back into the mix as a sometime first-line treatment.

The American Geriatrics Society has been publishing pain guidelines since 1998. They typically look at hundreds of research articles before coming to their conclusions. Their goal is to provide the most effective treatment for pain management with the least amount of risk.

Acid Reflux Relief Without Drugs

If you suffer from acid reflux, or “Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease” (GERD), you are probably among the millions who because of pain, heartburn, or acid reflux treat with prescription drugs. Drugs are a popular method of treatment here in the United States, and reduce the acid in the stomach and oesophagus when taken.

While drugs can be effective for some people, many experts believe that taking drugs actually exacerbates acid reflux and GERD symptoms, because, by reducing the acid in the stomach, it creates a whole new host of health problems. With less acid in the stomach, the ability to digest food, and to discourage food-borne infection, is diminished. An alternative is to implement changes in diet, along with using more natural remedies. If your acid reflux has not been cured by using over-the-counter or prescription drugs, creating lifestyle changes may have a much more positive effect.

Diminishing the pain of GERD and acid reflux starts with some diet modifications. Starting with the diet will have the most impact, and successive changes can be incorporated over time. There are a variety of non-essential foods and beverages that have been linked to GERD symptoms. Fruit juices, coffee, chocolate, and high-fat, or spicy foods can all exacerbate these symptoms. Just cutting out these menu choices may be enough for you to see a positive change in your health.

Not only what you eat, but how you eat, can also diminish your acid reflux pain. If a very large meal is eaten, the food actually expands back into the esophagus, causing a burning feeling because it is mixing with the stomach acids. You can give your stomach more room to digest but eating smaller meals, even if you have to eat more often. Eating before bed, or late at night, is not the best idea either, as sitting or staying upright will help your body digest the food much easier.

Another well-known factor is stress. Stress creates a domino effect, leading to other bad habits, such as smoking, and indulging in too much alcohol or junk food. These can all exacerbate the symptoms of GERD. A much easier and healthier way to diminish stress is to commit to regular exercise. Not only will you decrease your stress, but you may also lose weight, which may help alleviate your condition.

Medication does not have to be the first and last step if you are suffering from GERD or acid reflux. By incorporating simple diet or lifestyle changes, you can lessen or reduce your symptoms naturally. Removing the risk factors associated with acid reflux may be the best place to begin.