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Diseases & Conditions
Is it okay to use proton-pump inhibitors on demand?
It depends on your health and the frequency of symptoms, but it can be done in certain instances.
Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are effective treatments for chronic heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Several, such as omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), lansoprazole (Prevacid), and esomeprazole (Nexium), are available over the counter as well as by prescription.
But they don’t rapidly relieve symptoms like two other classes of heartburn drugs — antacids and H2 blockers. That’s important to understand when your doctor says you can take PPIs "on demand."
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Heartburn can be difficult to cope with but many people manage it quite well. However, other people spend countless hours and untold sums of money looking for a way to spell relief. This Harvard Medical School Guide: Cooling Heartburn, explains the causes of heartburn, and what you can do to prevent and treat it.
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