Struggling To Control GERD?

When stomach acid runs back into the esophagus, acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs. Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, and difficulty swallowing. While lifestyle changes and over-the-counter (OTC) medications can help manage GERD, some individuals may require prescription medications. Other people may already use prescription medication to treat another condition. However, certain medications can worsen GERD or contribute to the development of the disorder. In these cases, compounding may be an effective alternative for patients with acid reflux.

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A prescription for worsening symptoms

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is usually treated with medications that reduce or neutralize acid production, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2 receptor antagonists. However, some medications can worsen GERD by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscular ring that separates the esophagus from the stomach and helps prevent acid reflux. When the LES is relaxed, acid can flow back into the esophagus, causing symptoms of GERD. Some examples of medications that can worsen GERD include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), calcium channel blockers, and bisphosphonates.

How compounding can help

When prescriptions make GERD worse, compounding can help. Compounding involves the preparation of customized medications for individual patients by pharmacists. These pharmacists are skilled in creating alternative dosage forms or customized combinations of drugs. Common examples of compounding include creating capsules or transdermal gels or combining different medications into a single preparation. Compounding can benefit patients with GERD who cannot tolerate prescriptions or have specific needs that cannot be met with commercially available products.

Benefits of compounding

Patients need to treat GERD without worrying about specific prescriptions worsening the problem. Compounding can help by first creating alternative dosage forms. For example, compounding pharmacists can prepare liquids, transdermal gels, suppositories, or topical creams. These forms can be helpful for patients who have difficulty swallowing pills or prefer a non-oral route. Customized combinations also allow patients to take medications as a single dosage instead of multiple pills, which may be the reason for GERD symptoms. Finally, compounding can remove particular ingredients. For example, some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to certain preservatives or dyes in commercially available drugs. Compounding pharmacists can remove allergens to make the medications safer and more tolerable.

Don’t make GERD worse

Patients with GERD will quickly realize that some medications can worsen the condition. Many believe that the symptoms are part of treatment and that nothing can be done to prevent GERD from worsening. However, compounding may be a helpful treatment option patients overlook. Those who cannot tolerate traditional medications or have specific needs will benefit most. Patients must start by reviewing all drugs and then deciding on the best approach through compounding.


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