Medications can trigger acid reflux too!

Jennifer Rackley Health Guide November 10, 2009
  • Last month I wrote a blog about the things that can trigger acid reflux. I mentioned in the blog that there are also certain medications that can be triggers for this painful condition as well. Due to the interest expressed on this topic I thought it would be wise to include a blog that mentioned the medications that are known triggers.

     

    One class of medicines that is known for triggering acid reflux symptoms are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medications include but are not limited to the OTC medications like Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Aleve and prescription medications like Celebrex. A more extensive list of NSAIDs can be found HERE. If you find you are having extreme pain and are taking one of these medicines you may need to discuss the issue with your doctor. They may be able to tell you a safer way to take your NSAID or advise you to switch to a different type of medication.

     

    Antibiotics are also known triggers for acid reflux. This can be a huge pain, especially for children who are frequently exposed to infections that require antibiotics to treat the illness. Talk with your doctor about which antibiotics are easier on sensitive stomachs and ask them to discuss the timing of your medications. Some medications for acid reflux can make antibiotics less effective if you take them at the same time.

     

    We have also found that medications that some of our children's asthma medications can aggravate their reflux. It only seems to be the rescue inhaler, not the preventor that causes the problem. In my opinion it is unclear as to whether it is the medicine or the increase in coughing prior to giving the medicine that causes the issue but there are several parents I have spoken to who deal with the same problem. If you find this to be the case at your house as well then you may ask your doctor whether there is an antacid you can add on those days where the rescue inhaler needs to be used.

     

    It isn't just medications that can trigger symptoms. Many people find that supplements can do the very same thing. Fiber supplements, vitamin C, iron tablets and multivitamins can also be harsh on acid reflux sufferer's stomachs. Many times it can help to divide the dose so that the entire supplement is not on your stomach at the same time. Taking supplements with a small meal can also aid in preventing pain. Many supplements are not as effective when taken with antacids so check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure.

     

    Others medications that I have seen mentioned as acid reflux triggers may include: calcium channel blockers, anticholinergics, beta adrenergic agonists, dopamine, bisphosphonates and some sedatives. You can also look up each of your current medications' fact sheets to see if it is an acid reflux trigger as well.  This does not mean that all of these medicines will cause acid reflux in all people.  If you find your acid reflux is impossible to treat you may want to talk with your doctor about whether one of your medicines could be contributing to the problem.

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    Do stop taking any of your medications with out talking with your doctor first!