An open sore in the lining of the stomach (we call this as stomach ulcer) can lead to a number of symptoms which some could be very bothersome. The main one is stomach pain. And the pain often flares up at night with empty stomach, when your stomach acid increases higher. This could be painful enough to disturb you sleep and keep you up all night.
Antacids are one of common options to provide a quick relief for ulcer pain. They can help neutralize your stomach acid, making your pain subside quickly.
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They’re not used to replace other stomach ulcer medications such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine (H-2) blockers, because they don’t cure ulcers (though sometimes they might help mild, small ulcers to heal). But since PPIs or H-2 blockers don’t start to work right away, antacids are often used to help relieve pain and other ulcer symptoms more quickly!
are many choices of antacids, and some are also available without a
prescription. These include calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, sodium
bicarbonate, and aluminum hydroxide. You can take them in different ways –
chewable tablet, liquid, dissolving tablet, or chewing gum.
you take antacids properly, there should be nothing to worry. Here are other
important things to remember [reference]:
- Antacids can slow down the effect
of other medications, making your ulcer medications work ineffectively.
Therefore, it’s usually recommended to take antacids at least 1 hour before or
2 hours after taking other medications – or ask your doctor for more guidance!
- Common side effects of antacids
include diarrhea, constipation, and chalky taste – serious side effects are
rare. In general, the advantages of the medicine are more necessary than any
minor side effects. But if you have unusual symptoms that last longer than what
you expect, see your doctor without delay!
may take several days or weeks to see the improvement of your stomach ulcer
treatment. How long it takes for an ulcer to heal completely can vary. But as
long as you take all of your treatments and follow the instructions directed by
your doctor, the disease will heal without causing any serious complications.
a few changes in diet and lifestyle, your ulcer pain is probably less severe
and more controllable at night. For example, eating late at night can provoke
stomach upset and cause acid reflux, making your ulcer pain more likely. To
keep safe, eat at least 2-3 hours before your bedtime! Also, eat your meals
regularly and avoid overeating!
are other helpful things to help soothe the pain: