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. Many over-the-counter (OTC) 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.

Antacids

Antacids are a quick fix to stopping ulcer-induced pains. They do not work long term, and antacids do not cure the problem. However, antacids like Tums, Rolaids and milk of magnesia are inexpensive and work quickly--usually within minutes. These medications work by neutralizing the acid with a mineral or electrolyte. For instance, Drugs.com discusses the use of oyster shell as an antacid due to its calcium component. You can usually purchase antacids at a gas station or convenience mart, making them a great choice for someone on the go.

Acid Blockers

Another category of OTC ulcer medications is the H2 blockers. Zantac and Pepcid, which used to be available by prescription only, are effective H2 blockers that that you can purchase at any drug store. According to the Mayo Clinic, these drugs work by blocking the secretion of acid into your digestive tract, and they can take one to two hours to provide relief. However, the relief provided by the H2 blockers will last longer than that of antacids. Similar to antacids, you can take acid-blocking medications without deference to meals or food intake.

Acid Inhibitors

Drugs that stop or decrease actual acid production are known as proton pump inhibitors. Prilosec is a proton pump inhibitor that is available over the counter. These drugs work at the cellular level, shutting off the pump that produces your gastric acid. Although highly effective, the downside to inhibitors is that you must take them one hour before eating for them to have maximum effects.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.