Best Meds for GERD & Acid Reflux (& How to Save Money)
What’s a proton pump inhibitor? Do I need GERD medications or the best meds for acid reflux? What’s the difference between those two conditions?
And why are the best GERD treatments out there priced far beyond any reasonable budget?
You’ll find the answers to these questions and more (as well as a way to save up to 93% on GERD medications) in this comprehensive guide.
What Does Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Medication Do?
GERD and acid reflux are relatively common. Around 20% of American adults deal with these challenging disorders regularly.
GERD occurs when stomach acid flows backward into the tube connecting your stomach with your mouth or esophagus. Stomach acid isn’t supposed to flow that way, and the delicate esophageal lining isn’t equipped to stand up to harsh acidic substances.
The result? Your esophagus gets irritated, you experience extreme discomfort, and if you don’t treat the issue, you can experience more severe and painful issues (ranging from esophagitis to esophageal ulcers).
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back, or “refluxes,” into the esophagus. It’s the same essential event that occurs with GERD but tends to be much more sporadic.
When acid reflux happens more than twice a week, it’s classified as GERD.
What Are the Symptoms of GERD & Acid Reflux?
The symptoms of GERD & acid reflux include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chronic cough
- Regurgitation of food
- Regurgitation of sour liquid
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms regularly, talk to your doctor to see whether they’d recommend you start GERD or acid reflux medication.
Why Does GERD & Acid Reflux Happen?
GERD and acid reflux happen when a specific muscular ring, the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), doesn’t function properly.
The LES is located where the esophagus and stomach meet. Usually, as soon as food passes through the LES, the ring-shaped muscle closes. This helps prevent stomach acid from coming up and burning the esophagus.
Patients who have GERD have a LES that relaxes or weakens inappropriately. This allows a backward flow of stomach acid, contributing to the heartburn sensation and the sour taste associated with acid reflux.
Several factors could contribute to untimely LES weakening. These include:
Hiatal hernias. These occur when the top part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm, bulging out between the chest and abdomen.
Lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors. Some people may find that eating certain foods, drinking certain beverages, smoking, pregnancy, or even some sleeping habits (such as lying down directly after a meal) can trigger or exacerbate acid reflux.
It can vary from person to person, but typical foods that can lead to acid reflux symptoms include alcoholic beverages, coffee, fatty foods, fried foods, chocolate, and peppermint.
This isn’t to say that cutting out these foods or changing your habits will necessarily lead to a better outcome. Finding what works for your body and knowing how you will react to common triggers may help you understand and alleviate your symptoms, but talking to a doctor and determining medications specifically formulated to help GERD will likely be more effective over time.
Medications. GERD medications help GERD, but other pharmaceutical products – from asthma drugs to sedatives, mental health meds, and allergy relief medications – can trigger GERD symptoms.
If you need to start taking GERD medications, ensure your doctor knows about your other meds. This includes any natural remedies, herbal teas, or supplements you might use as part of your healthcare regimen. Your doctor will be able to tell if there are any potentially problematic interactions between drugs you’re already taking and drugs you might need to take and alter your prescriptions as needed.
Concomitant conditions. If you have gastroparesis, a connective tissue disorder, or deal with chronic stress, you might find that flare-ups of your other conditions lead to acid reflux episodes.
What Can GERD & Acid Reflux Medication Do to Help?
People with GERD and acid reflux take medication to reduce stomach acid production.
In some cases, GERD patients can undergo laparoscopic procedures to tighten up the LES muscle, but medication can be a less invasive way to reduce symptoms.
When GERD medication successfully reduces stomach acid production, that reduces instances of acid reflux and allows the esophagus time to heal.
Patients who take GERD medication regularly should be able to expect long-term relief from their GERD symptoms.
What Is the Best Med for GERD and Acid Reflux? Options to Consider
If you have GERD or acid reflux, there’s a decent chance you’ve heard of or are actively considering one of the following medications.
Prilosec OTC (omeprazole) is a medication that can treat the symptoms of GERD, heartburn, and ulcers. It’s over-the-counter, meaning you do not need a prescription to purchase and ship this medication.
Often, taking a two-week Prilosec OTC (or generic omeprazole) can help patients treat their symptoms and allow time for the stomach lining to heal.
Prilosec OTC helps people accomplish these goals because it’s a proton pump inhibitor. A proton pump is an enzyme that helps cells in your stomach lining produce hydrochloric acid.
That acid is a good thing. You need it to break down the foods you eat. However, those stomach cells sometimes produce too much acid (hence your symptoms!).
Prilosec blocks the proton pump, reduces stomach acid production, protects your stomach and esophageal lining, and relieves the symptoms associated with GERD and acid reflux.
Prilosec OTC Price
You can buy a supply of 14 pills of Prilosec OTC for about $38.00 through NorthWestPharmacy.com.
Nexium Tablets (esomeprazole) are, like Prilosec OTC, a type of treatment known as a proton pump inhibitor.
Esomeprazole, the active ingredient in Nexium Tablets, works much like omeprazole. Patients who take Nexium Tablets can lower the acid level in their stomachs. This will allow time to heal any existing ulcers in their esophagus, stomach, or duodenum.
It can also help reduce how often acid wells into the esophagus, which causes the painful sensations associated with GERD and acid reflux. Sometimes, doctors may prescribe Nexium Tablets to treat Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (ZES), a condition in which patients also have painful ulcers and tumors to manage.
Nexium Tablets Price
Through NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy a pack of 28 Nexium Tablets for approximately $75.00.
Aciphex (rabeprazole)’s active ingredient belongs to the same class of drugs as the previous medications – proton pump inhibitors. Often, you’ll see this drug class referred to by its abbreviation, PPI.
Whether you’re prescribed brand-name Aciphex or the generic alternative, rabeprazole, you should find that this medication helps your body regulate the amount of stomach acid it produces. Usually, doctors prescribe Aciphex to people managing GERD, although others may take Aciphex to treat lesions in the esophagus or stomach.
Finally, Aciphex can also help eliminate H.pylori, a type of bacteria, from the stomachs of people dealing with peptic ulcers.
American patients often pay as much as $637.00 for a pack of 30 tablets of Aciphex (or about $20.00/pill). It’s an eye-watering price because the generic is relatively inexpensive and widely available.
If you require brand Aciphex, you shouldn’t have to pay thousands yearly to take it! You can buy a supply of 28 tablets of Aciphex through NorthWestPharmacy.com for around $60.00, or approximately $2.10/pill (and up to 90% savings).
Seek further savings? You can also buy a 100-pack of generic rabeprazole through NorthWestPharmacy.com for around $57.00.
Protonix, also known as Pantoloc (pantoprazole), is a PPI. This class of drugs is an established option for people seeking relief from GERD and acid reflux.
If you’re wondering which of these proton pump inhibitors is best for you, consulting with your physician is a good idea.
Many of these drugs have similar side effects. Some side effects to know about when you’re starting Protonix – and most drugs on this list! – include:
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
These side effects may overlap with the symptoms of GERD and acid reflux. Knowing your symptoms, your body, and keeping track of how everything is progressing will help you keep tabs on whether the medication you’re taking is working well for you.
Your doctor will likely start you on a lower dose of your proton pump inhibitor, first, to help you avoid symptoms if at all possible. Watch your symptoms, talk to your doctor if they’re severe or don’t go away with time, and know your options.
If Protonix doesn’t work for you, you may be able to consider another popular GERD medication (if your doctor thinks it’s a good fit).
American patients typically pay around $580.00 for a pack of 30 tablets of Protonix.
Here, through NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy that same pack of brand Protonix for about $37.00 – up to 93% in savings.
Prevacid (lansoprazole), a proton pump inhibitor, helps lower the amount of stomach acid that a patient’s body produces.
Your doctor may prescribe branded Prevacid or generic lansoprazole. Either way, you should be able to manage your GERD or acid reflux symptoms much more easily after initiating treatment. Doctors may sometimes prescribe Prevacid to help treat Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, stomach lesions, stomach ulcers, or other related challenges.
In United States pharmacies, you may find a 30-pill supply of Prevacid priced at around $480.00.
Alternatively, if you’re interested in saving up to 72%, you can buy the same 30 pill supply of brand Prevacid through NorthWestPharmacy.com for about $133.00.
Dexilant (dexlansoprazole) is a medication (and a proton pump inhibitor) that helps prevent damage associated with stomach acid, especially when the stomach acid rises and hurts the delicate esophageal lining.
If other proton pump inhibitors have not worked well for you, it may be worth giving Dexilant a try. Ask your doctor what they recommend and keep a detailed log of the medications you have tried (and how they worked for you).
It’s not uncommon to see prices of $370.00 for a supply of 30 tablets of Dexilant in America.
Through NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy a 90 tablet supply of Dexilant for around $370.00 – offering you savings of up to 66%.
Wondering How to Save Money on the Best Meds for GERD & Acid Reflux?
When figuring out the best way to treat your GERD or acid reflux, you need to feel like every solution at your disposal is really an option you can pursue.
For example, while it’s always a good idea to consider investing in healthy lifestyle shifts, you may find that your GERD symptoms are most responsive to a proton pump inhibitor or related acid reflux medication.
If this is the case for you, it can be wildly disheartening to find that the medication you need is priced far out of your budget.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we don’t think American patients should have to deal with that realization. That’s why we ensure that American patients can reliably access both brand-name and generic GERD medications through our safe online Canadian pharmacy website and international drugstore.
Interested in learning more about what we offer you? Want to speak with our friendly team of customer service representatives, place your order over the phone, or chat with one of our pharmacists? We’d love to hear from you. Call us at 1-866-539-5330, or, in the meantime, check out our online pharmacy’s reviews. We’re proud to have a consistently high rating across hundreds of thousands of verified customer testimonials.
The team at NorthWestPharmacy.com is looking forward to providing support for you and your healthcare journey!