"People often opt to take over-the-counter remedies for quick relief of acid reflux symptoms, rather than visiting a doctor for an appropriate diagnosis," said John Johanson, M.D., of the University of Illinois. "Hopefully these findings will encourage more people to seek proper diagnosis and therapy from their doctors."
How Effective Are OTC Medications and Prescribed Medication in Controlling Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)? Results from a Multinational Survey (Abstract T1673)
People seeking relief from symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) often turn to over-the-counter (OTC) medicines before they are formally diagnosed. Symptoms of GERD include persistent and frequent heartburn and acid indigestion. In this study, researchers at Guy's King's and St. Thomas' School of Medicine investigated how effective these medicines were in improving symptoms.
Results of the study showed symptoms persisted for most people suffering from GERD, but more patients experienced relief when using prescription medication than OTC options. Patients using prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPI), a family of medications that block the production of stomach acid, or other prescription drugs were more likely to improve their symptoms than those undiagnosed GERD sufferers using OTC medicines.
In face-to-face interviews, researchers asked 1,908 participants about their disease, lifestyle and drug usage. Participants from the United States and Europe were either diagnosed with GERD (984 patients) or