Heartburn Consultation & Treatments At Pharmacy2U
Our UK registered
GPs will review your details and if appropriate can provide
prescription-strength treatment for heartburn.
Start Consultation here>>
What is Heartburn and Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)?
Heartburn is a
burning sensation or discomfort in the chest and throat that
occurs after eating. It is a common symptom of
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), where acid from the
stomach escapes from the stomach into the oesophagus, or gullet
– the tube that joins your throat to your stomach. The leaking
of acid occurs as the valve or sphincter that closes off the top
of the stomach becomes weak. It’s a common problem with about 1
in 5 people suffering once a week. Other symptoms of GORD are
pain or difficulty swallowing and an unpleasant taste in the
mouth caused by the acid making it all the way into the mouth.
Less common symptoms are feeling sick and coughing, especially
when lying down. For some people, heartburn only occurs
occasionally, but for many it happens often and requires
If you think you
might need prescription strength heartburn medication, act now
and start a convenient and confidential consultation with our UK
registered GP CLICK
What makes Heartburn worse?
There are a number
of factors that can make heartburn worse. The main risk factors
Being overweight. This puts
pressure on the stomach and weakens the sphincter that
closes off the top of the stomach.
Eating meals shortly before
bedtime. Avoid having meals within 3-4 hours of retiring.
Being pregnant. The physical
presence of the baby causes the stomach acid to leak back
into the gullet.
Eating a high-fat diet. High
fat food causes the stomach to produce a lot of acid, and so
the risk of it leaking back into gullet is increased.
Tobacco, alcohol, coffee and
chocolate can all make heartburn worse. It’s thought these
can make the sphincter relax so allowing leakage.
Gastroparesis, or delayed
stomach emptying, often associated with poorly controlled
diabetes. The stomach takes longer to empty the stomach
acid, and so it can leak back.
Many medicines, including
anti-inflammatory painkillers (non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs), and some medicines used
to treat high blood pressure (such as calcium channel
blockers) and angina (nitrates), can also make heartburn
How can Heartburn be managed?
In the first
instance heartburn can often be improved in many cases by simple
changes to your lifestyle. If you are overweight, losing weight
can reduce the symptoms. If you smoke, then giving up smoking
can also help a great deal. If certain foods such as alcohol,
coffee, chocolate or spicy meals trigger your heartburn, then
you should try and avoid these. Eating smaller meals more often
rather than having fewer large meals, and avoiding food 3 hours
before you go to bed can also help. Finally if you suffer
especially at night time, you could try raising the head of your
bed by 20cm.
techniques do not work for you there are a wide range of
medicines that can really help, all of which are available from
medicines fail to control your symptoms then a range of surgical
techniques are available, although not offered by Pharmacy2U.
heartburn is accompanied by difficulty swallowing, recent
unintentional weight loss, persistent vomiting, or a swelling in
your stomach, or if you are over 55 and your heartburn is
persistent or does not seem to relate to any of the lifestyle
factors above, you should talk to your own local doctor as soon
What Medicines are available to treat Heartburn?
A number of
non-prescription medicines are available to buy to treat mild to
moderate heartburn. Antacids simply neutralise the stomach acid
and can provide symptomatic relief in mild cases. Gaviscon contains
an alginate that forms a protective “raft” on top of the stomach
contents to prevent stomach acid entering the gullet and it is
suitable for most people including women during pregnancy. This
is usually the first line recommendation for people with mild
heartburn. Lower strength Zantac (ranitidine),
which is an H2 Receptor Antagonist (see below) prevents the
stomach from producing as much acid and is also available
without a prescription. Finally Nexium
a lower strength non-prescription Proton Pump Inhibitor which
also prevents the stomach from producing as much acid. Please click
find our range.
non-prescription medicines do not control your symptoms,
prescription strength medicines are available from the
Pharmacy2U Online Doctor.
Inhibitors (PPIs) are usually the first line of prescription
treatment. PPIs work by reducing the amount of acid produced by
the stomach and can be very effective. Examples that can be
prescribed are omeprazole, Nexium or
its generic version, esomeprazole,
which conveniently dissolve in the mouth.
Antagonists, such as ranitidine, are also used to treat
heartburn. Ranitidine also
works by reducing the amount of acid made by the stomach and is
commonly taken shortly before a meal to prevent the acid
symptoms from starting.
Antagonists tend to start working quickly and last for around 12
hours. In contrast, PPIs tend to start working more slowly, but
last for much longer; so a once-daily dosage is usually enough
to provide relief all through the day and night. These
prescribed medicines are usually continued for around one month,
and the doctor should be advised if the symptoms persist beyond
To have a
confidential and convenient heartburn consultation with our UK
registered GP CLICK