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Problems with Gerd and meds

  For the past 7 months I have had recurrent pericarditis.  I have bee
  on prednisone, naproxyn, ultram, ibuprofen, indocene, ecotrin, colchesine
  various codeine formulas, am taking iron and folic acid.  I was taking
  prilosec but stopped a week or so ago.  Currently I am taking the prednisone,
  colchesine, and lanoxin.  I did have to take naproxsyn the other day,
  to suppress the pain.  I am getting serious pains in what I think is my esophagus
  and upper stomach.  I have had the acid reflux problem for a couple
  of years. I do have to take some of these medicenes to avoid a flare
  of pericarditis, but have a lot of pain.  My doctor said to take
  prilosec and mylanta.  Any suggestions?
  Thank you
DEar Mary,
The symptoms of esophagitis are related to acid reflux into the esophagus.  Taking Prilosec and Mylanta will prevent acid secretion (Prilosec) effect and neutralize any acid that does reflux (Mylanta).  There are however, a number of other therapeutic options.
The basic treatment for reflux is lifestyle modifications:
a) eat 3 meals; no snacks
b) avoid alcohol, fatty foods, coffee, tea, peppermint
c) do not smoke
d)sleep with head of bed elevated 6 inches; do not lie down for 4 hours after eating
e) chew gum or suckcandies to increase saliva production.  This activity will increase saliva production.  Saliva will function similarly to anatcids ( neutralize acid).
If the lifestyle changes do not produce sufficient improvement, you may need to use a prokinetic agent e.g. Reglan to stimulate gastric emptying and therebty reduce the quantity of acid in the stomach that might be refluxed.
This information is presented for educational purposes only.  Always ask specific questiosn to your personal physician.
*keywords: esophageal reflux

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