Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, such as Prevacid, Prilosec, Aciphex, and Protonix, are medications that provide the strongest control of stomach acid. Evidence shows that PPIs relieve symptoms fast and heal esophagitis more frequently than other medications used to treat moderate-to-severe GERD. Usually, you take these medications once a day in the morning, but your doctor may advise you to take them more often depending on your symptoms.
How Proton Pump Inhibitors Work
The term "proton pump" refers to a part of the stomach that produces acid. These drugs block that acid production, decreasing the acidity of your stomach contents.
Possible Side Effects of Proton Pump Inhibitors
Side effects caused by proton pump inhibitors vary by brand:
- Prevacid may cause itchiness, dizziness, skin rash, headache, or diarrhea in some people. If you have any of these side effects, speak with your doctor.
- Prilosec may cause stomach cramps or headache. Some people may also experience constipation, itching, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. If you have these or any other side effects, speak with your doctor.
- Protonix and Aciphex may cause the same side effects as Prilosec, as well as excess gas, or flatulence. If you have these or any other side effects, speak to your doctor.
Possible Drug Interactions with Proton Pump Inhibitors
To help you avoid unnecessary side effects, use caution when taking proton pump inhibitors with other drugs. Tell your doctor about all other drugs you are taking - it's a good idea to let your doctor see your other prescription containers.
Drugs to Avoid with Proton Pump Inhibitors
Before you start taking a proton pump inhibitor, tell your doctor if you take any of these drugs:
- asthma medications
- seizure medications
- ulcer medications