Ulcer is an open sore that occurs in the stomach, duodenum or esophagus. It develops when stomach acid corrodes the inner lining of the stomach, duodenum and the esophagus. Too much acid in the stomach or reduction in mucus secretion that forms a protective barrier to the stomach acid is responsible for this condition.
Overgrowth of the H. pylori is commonly blamed for destroying the protective mucus layer and inducing inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach or the duodenum. In some cases, prolonged intake of pain relief drugs may irritate the stomach and duodenum lining. Taking the pain relief medications with meals helps to diminish the adverse effects of these drugs
Treatment for ulcers depends on the underlying cause of the ailment. Ulcer caused by bacterial infection is treated with antibiotics. Acid reducing drugs are used to reduce the acid content in the stomach for facilitating healing.
Best Medications To Treat Ulcer
More than a half of peptic ulcer cases worldwide are attributed to H. pylori infection. The ulcer causing bacteria are killed with antibiotics. Given the rising incidence of infections caused by bacteria strains resistant to certain antibiotics, the antibiotic regimens vary from country to country.
Often a combination of antibiotics is used for suppressing H. pylori growth. Almost 80 to 90 percent ulcers caused by H. pylori respond to antibiotic treatment. Complete healing is ensured by taking the antibiotics for two weeks. Antibiotics commonly used for killing H. pylori include amoxicillin, tetracycline, clarithromycin and metronidazole.
Proton Pump Inhibitors
Along with antibiotics, an acid reducing medication such as a proton pump inhibitor is prescribed by doctors to cure peptic ulcer. In most cases, the drug is taken for about two months to aid the healing process. By obstructing activities of enzymes that support acid secretion, proton pump inhibitors reduce acid production.
Proton pump inhibitors used in ulcer treatment include omeprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazol, pantoprazole and rabeprazole. Prolonged intake of these drugs increases risk of osteoporosis and fractures. These side effects can be avoided by using small doses of the drug for a short time.
Histamine H2 receptor antagonists encourage healing by reducing production of stomach acid. H2 blockers used in ulcer treatment include ranitidine, nizatidine, famotidine and cimetidine. H2 blockers are well tolerated. They are considered safe. Diarrhea or constipation, headache, dizziness and nausea are rare side effects of the drug.
Proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers reduce acid production in the stomach through different pathways. Proton pump inhibitors suppress acid production by obstructing the final step in acid production, whereas the H2 blockers inhibit the stimulus that induces acid secretion.
Therefore, the effect of H2 blockers can be experienced within an hour, whereas it takes a longer time to experience the acid reducing effect of proton pump inhibitors. However, the effect of proton pump inhibitors last for a longer time. Moreover, they are more effective in reducing the stomach acid.
To neutralize the stomach acid, your doctor may prescribe an antacid. Antacids rapidly provide relief from stomach pain. Diarrhea or constipation is a possible side effect of these medications.
Cytoprotective drugs work by inducing mucus secretion and boosting blood flow in the stomach lining. By forming a barrier to the acidic content of the stomach, they protect the injured tissue and encourage healing.Misoprostol and sucralfate are two cytoprotective drugs available on prescription. Sucralfate is usually used for short-term treatment, whereas misoprostol is used for a long-term for reducing the risk of developing ulcers owing to prolonged use of pain relief drug.