Heartburn is usually defined as a burning sensation in the form of pain that you may feel in your lower chest. This may be linked to the stomach acid that backs up from your stomach to your throat. 

Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs for short, are the most common treatment method that’s used to manage the discomfort caused due to heartburn, especially if your condition is extremely severe. 

Usually, heartburn may be managed by milder medications. Consulting your physician can help you get the most suitable treatment, depending on the level of discomfort you’re feeling.

Medication that may be prescribed to ease the discomfort of heartburn

Proton pump inhibitors (PPI)

Proton pump inhibitors (PPI)

The initial stage to reducing the effects of heartburn is to block the production of acid for a longer period of time.

Medical experts claim that there isn’t one particular medication that will help reduce the effects of heartburn. With a wide range of drugs that address the discomfort of the condition you’re experiencing, some might be more effective than others.

Most of these medications, however, may be deemed more effective to protect the oesophagus from stomach acid and promote the healing of the oesophagus.

Promotility agents

This helps stimulate the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract and may help prevent stomach acids which may cause the formation of ulcers from sitting in your stomach for too long. 

Promotility agents also help in the strengthening of the lower oesophagal sphincter which will ultimately reduce the acid reflux into the oesophagus. 

Most promotility agents also help with relieving heartburn that’s linked to GERD.

Side effects that you may begin to experience after using heartburn medication

You might begin to experience certain side effects from taking heartburn medication in Australia. Some of the most common ailments that may follow after the usage of PPIs are: 

  • Headaches

  • Abdominal pain

  • Bloating

  • Constipation

  • Nausea 

  • Gas 

Side effects that you may experience after taking promotility agents may include:

  • Fatigue 

  • Diarrhoea 

  • Restlessness 

  • Drowsiness 

  • Mobility problems 

Knowing the specific side effects of each kind of medication for heartburn is crucial information so you can prepare yourself and select a suitable treatment measure.

Additional treatment measures to improve the performance of the heartburn medication

Along with the prescribed medication, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that the treatment plan works effectively: 

  • Maintain a healthy weight

  • Avoid the overconsumption of alcohol and avoid heavy smoking 

  • Refrain from consuming large meals 

  • Eliminate foods that trigger heartburn from your diet 

While a gastrointestinal health specialist may assist you in selecting the best medication for heartburn, they may also ask you to make certain lifestyle changes to improve the chances of the medication working properly.

Questions you can ask your healthcare provider to help you make the best choice when selecting heartburn medication in Australia

You’ll be prescribed the most suitable medication by your healthcare provider, but to make the process easier, make sure to follow these simple steps for the most effective treatment plan:

  • Take note of all the symptoms you’re experiencing 

  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins, and supplements you’re currently taking

  • Record all your pre-existing medical conditions so you don’t leave any of them out

Consult an experienced gastroenterologist to assist you in choosing the right heartburn medication in Australia 

Dr Suhirdan Vivekanandarajah is a Sydney-based gastroenterologist and hepatologist specialising in providing expert medical care for gastrointestinal-related illnesses.

If you’re looking to improve your gut health by adopting professionally prescribed health practices to ease the discomforts of heartburn, schedule a consultation today.