Frequent heartburn: Management
Managing frequent heartburn
Frequent heartburn can significantly affect an individual's quality of life.
3 out of 4 frequent heartburn sufferers report that heartburn interferes with their sleep, negatively impacting mood and daily function.1
By understanding your patients’ heartburn experience, including their triggers and how often they suffer, you can suggest lifestyle changes alongside appropriate treatment options that can help them take back control.
Managing frequent heartburn
Lifestyle changes for heartburn sufferers
There are a number of lifestyle changes which can be recommended to reduce the occurrence of heartburn including:2
- Healthier eating
- Losing weight
- Avoiding fatty and fried meals
- Avoiding eating large meals within 3 to 4 hours of sleeping
- Trying to avoid carbonated soft drinks, caffeine and alcohol
- Ensuring that food is eaten slowly and properly chewed.
Recommending the appropriate treatment for your patient
The appropriate treatment will depend on the FREQUENCY of your patient’s heartburn
If heartburn occurs twice or more in a week then it is classed as frequent3 and sufferers may benefit from treatments which work by reducing the production of acid. Whilst occasional heartburn may be managed by short-term relief products which neutralise it or physically block acid from entering the oesophagus.
Scroll down to find out more about the range of treatment options for heartburn.
Antacids: Last up to 3 hours
Antacids are fast acting for short-term relief of heartburn and indigestion.
Once they are in contact with the acid in the stomach they work by producing salt and water – therefore neutralising the contents. They do not treat the cause of acid but alleviate the symptoms.
Once the stomach empties the effect of the antacid ceases, more stomach acid is produced, and the cycle starts again.
Alginates: last up to 4 hours
Alginates form a surface or ‘raft’ over the stomach contents to stop reflux. They may not be as effective at night when lying down.
Alginates do not affect acid production in the stomach – therefore they do not treat the cause but alleviate the symptoms.
Dual action products may use antacids in conjunction with alginates.
H2 receptor Blockers: last up to 12 hours
By blocking the histamine receptor, H2 receptor blockers reduce acid production. However acid production still occurs with two other receptors found on the cells lining the stomach: gastrin and acetylcholine receptors.
They offer intermediate duration relief and can provide symptom control for up to 12 hours. Symptom relief can occur ½-1 hour after dosing.
PPIs: Last for up to 24 hours
PPIs, such as esomeprazole, act by blocking the proton pump to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach.
The reduction of acid in the stomach gives the oesophagus a ‘holiday’ from acid exposure and time to heal from the irritation that acid can cause.
Effects are long lasting, with symptom control for up to 24 hours hence the need for once a day dosing.
To find out more about Nexium Control and how it works click here.
How can Nexium Control help Scott?
Scott is 38 and has a busy job as a sales representative which means he often travels.
In the last few months he has been suffering with heartburn a couple of times a week. He notices it is worse at night and especially if he has eaten late or has a spicy meal.
He would like to find relief for his heartburn that lasts.
Nexium Control contains esomeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor. Just one pill a day could provide 24 hour relief from Scott’s frequent heartburn and allow his oesophagus a chance to recover from the acid.
NICE Guidelines for frequent heartburn
NICE guidelines recommend proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), as first-line treatment for frequent heartburn.3
Understanding frequent heartburn
Nexium Control 20mg Gastro-Resistant Capsules (Esomeprazole)
Up to 24 hour relief and protection from frequent heartburn with just one pill a day.
Easy to swallow mini capsules: 53% smaller than tablets.*
*based on volume of tablets vs. capsules
Find out more about the GSK portfolio of brands for wellness
Find out more about the GSK brands to help patients to maintain a sense of wellness.*
*Centrum contains vitamin D which contributes to the normal function of the immune system.