5 Acid Reflux Myths


Once You Start Taking Medication, You Have to Take It for Life.

That antacid brings relief, but you may not need it every day.
That antacid brings relief, but you may not need it every day.
© iStockphoto.com/Rinderart

There are several quite effective medications that help people deal with acid reflux, from over-the-counter antacids to prescription proton pump inhibitors. Once patients find something that allows them to sleep at night or enjoy decadent meals without heartburn, there's a temptation to continue to take it for years at a time. After all, if they stop taking that daily pill, the symptoms will return, right?

While there are some patients who experience acid reflux or heartburn on a daily basis, most people only have flare-ups occasionally. These people are just wasting money and putting themselves at risk for long-term side effects. The side effects include an increased risk of pneumonia, gastrointestinal infections and osteoporosis and bone fractures [source: Jaret]. While doctors stress that these drugs are safe and that the long-term side effects are worth the gamble for people with severe acid reflux, most people can get by just taking a pill when symptoms begin or before indulging in the kind of meal that typically brings on acid reflux. Talk to your doctor to figure out your best option.