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Is Your Medication a Pain in the Gut?

How Certain Meds Can Make Your Heartburn Worse
  -- By Tanya Jolliffe, Healthy Eating Expert
Medications can either be your best friend or a big nuisance when you suffer from heartburn. While antacids (Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids and Tums) provide immediate relief for acid reflux, there are several common medications you might take for other health ailments that can aggravate heartburn issues in a major way. Each person responds to medications differently, but trial and error can help you find which medication works best for your medical needs while also limiting heartburn symptoms. Here is some information to determine if your medication could be causing you more pain.

Many medications contribute to heartburn discomfort by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and allowing stomach acids to re-enter and irritate the esophagus. Examples of these medications include:
Other medications cause irritation because they increase stomach acid production, irritate the stomach/esophagus lining or decrease the rate of stomach emptying. Examples of these medications include:
<pagebreak>If you experience frequent and persistent heartburn and feel that your medications may be to blame, talk with your doctor to see if there is an alternative medication that will better meet your needs. Some of the following substitutions may work for you.

Take This Instead of This
Acetaminophen Ibuprofen
Percocet Other narcotics
Baby aspirin or enteric-coated options Regular aspirin
Non-tricyclic antidepressants Tricyclic antidepressants
Iron supplements in the morning Iron supplements at night
Enteric-coated antibiotics Tetracycline antibiotics
Slow-releasing potassium Instantly-dissolving potassium
Inhaler asthma medications Oral asthma medications
Osteoporosis medications in the morning Osteoporosis medications at night
Osteoporosis infusion Daily and weekly osteoporosis options

Here are some other tips to help you deal with heartburn caused by medications: