Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Simplified Explanation

GERD occurs when stomach acid or, occasionally, stomach content, flows back into your food pipe (esophagus). This causes heartburn and indigestion.


  • Zofran or antacids can be taken for quick relief (Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil, Gaviscon, Rolaids and Tums).
  • H-2-receptor blockers (medications to reduce acid production) can be taken for longer lasting relief (cimetidine (Tagamet HB), famotidine (Pepcid AC), nizatidine (Axid AR) or ranitidine (Zantac)).
  • Proton pump inhibitors: medications that block acid production and heal the esophagus (esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex) and dexlansoprazole (Dexilant)).

If medication doesn’t work surgery may be done to help strengthen and tighten the lower esophageal sphincter to prevent reflux. As a result of GERD, dehydration can easily occur, and an IV may be needed.

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