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H2 Inhibitors vs. PPI's?
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H2 Inhibitors vs. PPI's?

What is the difference between the two?  I understand that both will help reduce stomach acid but are there name brand H2I's I can purchase over the counter and if so...what are the names?  I have a script for Protonix and it works wonderfully but the script is very expensive so I've been taking OTC Zegerid and Prilosec whis is actually Omeprazole.  Both of those drugs cause me severe side effects..quite scarry actually.  

Is Protonix and Nexium the same thing?  Are Protonix and Nexium considered H2 Inhibitiors instead of PPI's?  I see that I can purchase nexium at Wal-Mart and Wal-greens at a reasonable price. Thanks in advance for any help or direction.
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Hello,

PPI's are generally more effective.  Some doctors will layer PPI's and H2 blockers with the H2 blocker being taken at bedtime.  

PPI's basically shut down some of the acid producing glands in the stomach so that less acid is present.  H2 blockers are a special type of antihistamine that works mainly in the stomach to reduce acid.

OTC H2 blockers include Pepcid and Zantec (ranitidine).

Nexium is eomeprazole and is very similar to omeprazole.  I am not sure what the chemical name for Protonix is, but I do believe it is defferent.  Both of these medications are in the PPI category.

These medications can have side effects when take for a long period of time.  OTC omeprazole come in 14 day "kits".  They want you to only take the medication for 14 days at a time.  If you have severe reflux though, you may have to take the medication long term.  Untreated/uncontrolled acid reflux has its own side effect - esophageal cancer.  

There are some life style changes that can help control reflux as well.  You might want to emplement those along with medicinal treatment and see where that gets you.  If you can control your reflux with life style changes, then you may be able to discontinue the medication.

Another thought, for me good probiotics seem to be the key.  I have take a lot of antibiotics (and prednesone) over my life time.  Antibiotics kill the good digestive bacteria along with the bad bacteria that is making one sick.  It is good to replace the digestive bacteria with a good pro-biotic.  I take one that has 12 strains of bacteria withd 20 billion organisms.  I recently discussed my dosage with my doctor because I have essentially spent the last 3 months on strong antibiotics (two at one point).  That has really helped keep my reflux under control.  I don't have issues even when I expect them now.  I also take a digestive enzyme.

I hope that has helped you some.  Take care and have a blessed day.
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