Part of HIV & You: Managing Gut Symptoms
HOW TO TREAT HEARTBURN
Acid-reducing medications (also called antacids), such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox and Rolaids, can help. But if you are currently taking HIV meds, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking them. These medications may weaken the ability of some HIV meds to fight the virus, especially Aptivus, Complera, Edurant, Reyataz, Stribild and Videx EC.
University of Minnesota School of Medicine
|Treatment Tips: "I initially try antacid tablets such as Tums, followed by an acid-reducing drug such as ranitidine, cimetidine or famotidine, especially at night. Raising the head of the bed can help. If symptoms persist, I look for contributing problems (taking aspirin, ibuprofen, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, late-night snacking) and health conditions (such as peptic ulcer disease or H. pylori infection). I may refer patients to a gastrointestinal doc for further evaluation."|
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How your doctor should help you
Usually, heartburn is minor and doesn't last long. But if it becomes a burden or affects your quality of life, call your health care provider. Heartburn is often easy to treat, but if left untreated, it has the potential to cause more severe health problems over time.
Talk to your doctor or call an ambulance immediately if your heartburn is especially severe or comes with any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Severe tightness or squeezing in your chest
- Unusual pain in your stomach or chest area, especially if any acid-reducing medications already recommended by your doctor or pharmacist don't get rid of it
- Vomiting, especially if it has blood in it