It is reassuring to know that symptoms can respond to medication therapy. However, if your symptoms get dramatically better on prescription medication, it is important you continue this medication for a course of time, or at least until your doctor evaluates you again.
Medications work in two ways: they heal acid damage and they maintain healing. Generally speaking, it takes about 8 weeks to heal esophagitis, and the maintenance phase can last from months to years. Once you stop taking the medication, the whole process of damaging the esophagus by acid can reoccur. Because of this fact, many patients cannot stop their medications because reflux symptoms will return. Frequently, H2 blockers or PPIs need to be taken for life. The only way to change this is to modify your lifestyle. For example, overweight patients with acid reflux frequently experience improvement of symptoms and can decrease or stop medications when they lose weight. Cutting down or eliminating alcohol use and not eating for at least 2 hours prior to sleep can also help reduce medication requirements.
By Mortin - Copyright 2010
Last modification 05/02/2010
When Can I Stop Taking Acid Reflux Medication? References