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 The leading web portal for pharmacy resources, news, education and careers November 20, 2017
Pharmacy Choice - Gerd Disease State Management - November 20, 2017

Gerd Disease State Management

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic, but treatable condition that occurs as a result of stomach acid backing up into the esophagus and mouth. GERD currently affects approximately 19 million people in the US, and if left untreated, may lead to esophageal erosion. Patients experiencing GERD will typically present with some, or all, of the following symptoms: heartburn, regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, asthma, non-cardiac related chest pain, and water brash. Symptoms may worsen by bending over or laying flat. Patients may see relief of symptoms by lifestyle modifications including: weight loss, smoking cessation, eating smaller meals, refraining from lying down for 3 hours after eating, and avoiding certain foods (chocolate, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and highly acidic beverages). Patients that do not see a resolution of symptoms from dietary modification might have either an endoscopy, barium esophagram, or esophageal pH monitoring test to confirm or refute the diagnosis of GERD.

If a patient is unresponsive to dietary and lifestyle modifications, there are a variety of medication treatment options. Antacids are valuable in treating patients with mild symptoms and are available without a prescription. Mucosal protective agents, like sucralfate, are available by prescription and are used for moderate to severe GERD. Promotility agents, like metoclopromide are available by prescription and can be helpful in reducing stomach acid and subsequent reflux as a result of decreased stomach emptying time. Perhaps the most advertised and successful treatment option for GERD are the acid suppressing agents in the H2-receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitor class that are available OTC and by prescription.

Links - Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse information - For Gastroesophageal Reflux and Gastroesophageal Disease in English and Spanish

The Word on GERD - from the American College of Gastroenterology includes a simple test to measure your heartburn

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders - Inncludes patient support and a YouTube video on GERD

Kids Health - Information for children and teens who may have GERD

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