Treatment For A Stomach Ulcer
Special diets are now known to have very little impact on the prevention or treatment of stomach ulcers. Treatment options can include:
- medication including antibiotics, to destroy the H. pylori colony, and drugs to help speed the healing process. Different drugs need to be used in combination some of the side effects can include diarrhoea and rashes. Resistance to some of these antibiotics is becoming more common
- subsequent breath tests used to make sure the H. pylori infection has been treated successfully
- changes to existing medication the doses of arthritis medication, aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medication can be altered slightly to reduce their contributing effects on the stomach ulcer.
- reducing acid tablets are available to reduce the acid content in the gastric juices
- lifestyle modifications including quitting cigarettes, since smoking reduces the natural defences in the stomach and impairs the healing process.
How Should I Use Protonix
Take Protonix exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Use the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time needed to treat your condition.
Protonix is taken by mouth or given as an infusion into a vein . A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the injection by yourself.
Protonix tablets are taken by mouth, with or without food. The oral granules should be taken 30 minutes before a meal.
Do not crush, chew, or break a Protonix tablet. Swallow the tablet whole.
The oral granules should be sprinkled on 1 teaspoon of applesauce or apple juice and given either by mouth or through a nasogastric tube.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve.
Pantoprazole can cause false results with certain medical tests. Tell the doctor or laboratory staff that you are using this medicine.
Pantoprazole may also affect a drug-screening urine test and you may have false results. Tell the laboratory staff that you use this medicine.
Store this medicine at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What If I Forget To Take It
If you usually take it:
- once a day take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless your next dose is due in less than 12 hours in which case skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the usual time, and then carry on as normal.
- twice a day take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless your next dose is due in less than 4 hours in which case skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the usual time, and then carry on as normal.
Never take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. If you often forget doses, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember your medicine.
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Which Nsaid To Use
All NSAIDs cause some degree of gastrointestinal toxicity. Large pooled data from placebo-controlled trials show that all evaluated NSAIDs including COX-2 inhibitors, diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen were associated with an increased risk of gastrointestinal injury. However, this risk varies between the drugs. The relative risk of upper gastrointestinal complications for aceclofenac, celecoxib and ibuprofen is low . Diclofenac, meloxicam and ketoprofen are intermediate while naproxen, indomethacin and diflunisal have a higher relative risk . The highest pooled relative risk is associated with piroxicam and ketorolac .
Drugs with greater selectivity for COX-2 than COX-1 should have less gastrointestinal toxicity. Large pooled data showed that the predicted absolute annual risk of upper gastrointestinal complications was lower for COX-2 inhibitors than naproxen and ibuprofen.7 However, COX-2 inhibitors are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. There is little evidence of an increased risk of cardiovascular complications with use of a low dose of diclofenac. However, to avoid possible cardiovascular complications the use of NSAIDs should be at the lowest possible dose and for the shortest time.
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Peptic Ulcers
- If you suspect you may have a peptic ulcer, you may first be diagnosed by your family practitioner or internist.
- Children or teenagers may see a pediatrician.
- For further treatment you will likely be referred to a gastroenterologist, a specialist in disorders of the digestive tract.
- If you have an emergency such as vomiting or severe abdominal pain you will be seen by an emergency medicine specialist in an emergency room.
- In the rare case where surgery is needed, you may see a general surgeon.
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Prevention Of Peptic Ulcers
Using alternatives to NSAIDs, like acetaminophen, to relieve pain can help prevent peptic ulcers. If you need to use an NSAID, opt for the lowest dose and take it with a meal.
Peptic ulcers caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori are not usually preventable, but good hygiene such as washing your hands thoroughly before eating and after using the bathroom may help limit the spread.
Read The Package Insert
Admit it: When you buy a bottle of over-the-counter pain reliever, you likely throw out the printed insert along with the empty box. But you really should get in the habit of reading it. Find out what side effects you should look for. Look at the list of possible drug interactions or ask your pharmacist or doctor to go over it with you.
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How Do Nsaids Cause A Peptic Ulcer
To understand how NSAIDs cause peptic ulcer disease, it is important to understand how NSAIDs work. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce pain, fever, and inflammation, or swelling.
Everyone has two enzymes that produce chemicals in your bodys cells that promote pain, inflammation, and fever. NSAIDs work by blocking or reducing the amount of these enzymes that your body makes. However, one of the enzymes also produces another type of chemical that protects the stomach lining from stomach acid and helps control bleeding. When NSAIDs block or reduce the amount of this enzyme in your body, they also increase your chance of developing a peptic ulcer.
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How Is A Stomach Ulcer Diagnosed
To help diagnose a stomach ulcer, your doctor will ask you what medications you take or have been taking, and if you have had a peptic ulcer or any other relevant condition in the past. Make sure you mention all the medications you are taking, especially NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, or ketorolac.
Your doctor will also conduct a physical examination, to check for bloating or lumps within your abdomen, and to listen for bowel sounds. Make sure you mention any areas of pain or tenderness.
Blood may also be taken to test for infection or anemia and testing may also be conducted for Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria commonly associated with stomach ulcers. Testing usually involves either a breath test, stool sample, or biopsy. To get a clear picture of the inside of your stomach and small intestines, doctors may use an endoscope , a series of X-rays and/or a CT scan.
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How Long Will I Take It For
If you buy pantoprazole from a pharmacy, you can usually take it for up to 2 weeks.
After 2 weeks:
- if your symptoms have improved you can take it for another 2 weeks
- if your symptoms have not improved or they are worse, speak to a doctor before taking any more pantoprazole
Do not take pantoprazole for more than 4 weeks without speaking to your doctor first. If your symptoms have not improved, you may need some tests to find out what’s causing them.
If you take it on prescription, you may only need to take it for a few weeks or months, depending on your illness. Sometimes your doctor may advise you to take it for longer, even for many years.
Your doctor may suggest taking pantoprazole only when you have symptoms. This means you won’t have to take it every day. Once you feel better, you can stop taking it – often after a few days or weeks. Taking pantoprazole this way isn’t suitable for everyone. Speak to your doctor about what’s best for you.
The Pros And Cons Of Pain Relief Drugs
Here’s a rundown of the benefits and risks of some popular pain medications. It should help simplify your choices when you’re in the drugstore.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use any over-the-counter painkiller on a regular basis. If you’re in that much pain, you need to talk with your doctor.
- How it works. Acetaminophen is not an NSAID. Experts aren’t actually sure how it works, but it seems to affect chemicals that increase the feeling of pain.
- Benefits. Acetaminophen reduces pain and lowers fevers. Unlike aspirin and other NSAIDS, acetaminophen is believed to be safe for people with ulcers. It doesn’t affect the natural lining of the stomach. Since it doesn’t thin the blood, it doesn’t increase the risk of bleeding either. It is safe for women who are pregnant and nursing.
- Side effects and risks. Experts say that acetaminophen is safe for people with ulcers. But like any drug, it can cause other side effects. Very high doses of acetaminophen — well over the recommended maximum of 4,000 mg/day — can cause serious liver damage. Long-term use of acetaminophen in high doses — especially when combined with caffeine or codeine can cause kidney disease.
ASPIRINBayer, Bufferin, Ecotrin
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How Are Peptic Ulcers Diagnosed
If your doctor suspects you might have a peptic ulcer, he will take a full medical history and perform a physical exam. Diagnostic tests you might take include:
- Lab test for H. pylori A blood, stool, or breath test may be used to determine whether H. pylori bacteria are present in your body.
- Endoscopy During this procedure, a hollow tube with a lens will be passed down your throat to your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. This will allow your doctor to look for a peptic ulcer and take a biopsy if one is present.
- Barium swallow For this test, you will swallow a white liquid containing barium, which coats your digestive tract. A series of X-rays of your upper digestive system will be taken and the liquid makes the ulcer more visible.
Who Is More Likely To Get Ulcers
One in 10 people develops an ulcer. Risk factors that make ulcers more likely include:
- Frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , a group of common pain relievers that includes ibuprofen .
- A family history of ulcers.
- Illness such as liver, kidney or lung disease.
- Regularly drinking alcohol.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
Many people with peptic ulcers don’t have any signs, but upper abdominal pain is the most common symptom.
- Extend from your navel up to your breastbone
- Feel worse when your stomach is empty
- Feel better temporarily when you eat certain foods or take an antacid
- Get worse at night
- Come and go for days or weeks
Other symptoms of peptic ulcers may include:
- Vomiting of red or dark blood
- Feeling bloated or full
- Bloody, black, or tar-like stools
- Unexplained weight loss
- Changes in your appetite
Causes Of Peptic Ulcers In Kids
Although stress and certain foods may aggravate an ulcer, most ulcers are caused by an H. pylori infection or the use of common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
However, while most experts agree that H. pylori infection is a top cause of peptic ulcers in adults, not all think that the bacteria are a major culprit in childhood ulcers. Some doctors make the distinction between duodenal ulcers, which are commonly associated with H. pylori infection, and gastric ulcers, which may stem from other causes.
Its recognized that certain medical conditions can contribute to the development of ulcers. For instance, children with severe burns can develop ulcers secondary to the stress of their injuries. This is also true for infants who become septic . In otherwise healthy kids, peptic ulcers are very unusual.
Some doctors believe that more kids get drug-related gastric ulcers than other types of peptic ulcers. Even moderate use of NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal problems and bleeding in some children. Acetaminophen does not cause stomach ulcers and is a good alternative to NSAIDs for most childhood conditions.
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The Best Otc Drugs For Ulcers
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, 10 out of every 100 Americans will suffer an ulcer in their lifetime 3. Many over-the-counter medications are available to relieve your pain and assist the healing process. Each medication has a separate function, though the drugs serve the same purpose: pain relief and acid digestion. You can choose from acid neutralizers, acid blockers and drugs that stop acid production altogether.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Peptic Ulcers
For a long time, it was believed that spicy foods or stress led to peptic ulcers but doctors now know that this isn’t the case.
In fact, the most common causes of ulcers are:
- Helicobacter pylori, a type of bacteria that can infect your stomach
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin, Advil or Motrin , and Aleve , which can wear away at the mucus layer of the digestive tract
Certain factors can put a person at a greater risk of developing a peptic ulcer, including:
- Taking high doses of NSAIDs
- Using NSAIDs continuously over a long period of time
- Being female
- Having a history of ulcer disease
- Taking corticosteroids, medications that may be prescribed to treat asthma, arthritis, or lupus
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What To Eat If You Have A Stomach Ulcer
Since H. pylori bacteria is now known to be an important cause of ulcer formation, scientists are exploring what foods may have a role in fighting against an infection.
In addition to taking the antibiotics and acid-blocking medications recommended by your doctor for your ulcer treatment, eating these foods may also be helpful against the ulcer-causing bacteria:
for ulcer treatment. These foods, such as miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi, may prevent reinfection.
Turmeric is currently being studied as a potential treatment for ulcers as well.
Garlic, decaffeinated green tea, and licorice round out the list of things you might want to incorporate in your diet.
Symptoms Of Stomach Ulcers
A number of symptoms are associated with stomach ulcers. The severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer.
The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty, and it can last for a few minutes to several hours.
Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include:
- dull pain in the stomach
- weight loss
- heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest)
- pain that may improve when you eat, drink, or take antacids
- anemia, whose symptoms can include tiredness, shortness of breath, or paler skin
- dark, tarry stools
- vomit thats bloody or looks like coffee grounds
Talk to your doctor if you have any symptoms of a stomach ulcer. Even though discomfort may be mild, ulcers can worsen if they arent treated. Bleeding ulcers can become life-threatening.
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Can You Get Stomach Ulcers While Taking Nsaids
Actually, H. pylori infection is the most common cause of stomach ulcers, and it also causes inflammation of the stomach lining. It is not uncommon for patients taking NSAIDs to develop gastrointestinal symptoms. Taking the medication on a full stomach may improve tolerability.
What Are The Risks For People With Ulcers
Why do painkillers increase the risk of gastrointestinal problems? The same chemicals that amplify pain — which some pain medicines block — also help maintain the protective lining of the stomach and intestines. When a painkiller stops these chemicals from working, the digestive tract becomes more vulnerable to damage from gastric acids.
For people with ulcers, the risky pain relievers are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. They include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen, the active ingredients in medicines such as Bufferin, Advil, and Aleve.
Other pain relievers may be less dangerous. Acetaminophen — the active ingredient in Tylenol — works differently and poses a much lower risk of GI problems. However, like any drug, it does have side effects of its own. You shouldn’t take any over-the-counter painkiller for more than 10 days without your health care provider’s approval.
The risks from NSAIDs are quite serious. Studies show that people who use NSAIDs are about three times as likely to have gastrointestinal bleeding. Even at low doses, NSAIDs can make mild ulcers much worse.
Aspirin has additional risks. “Aspirin can help prevent blood clotting, which is why it helps people at risk of heart attacks and strokes,” says Cryer. “But in people with ulcers, it can lead to more serious gastrointestinal bleeding.”