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Pharmacologic Treatment of GERD

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Part of the Respiratory Medicine book series (RM, volume 2)

Abstract

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is extremely common, affecting 7–10 % of the adult population in the United States on a daily basis [1]. GERD has been found to have a greater negative impact on quality of life for a patient than more severe chronic diseases, including hypertension, heart failure, and angina [2]. The clinical range of GERD has expanded from classic esophageal symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation to now include symptoms and disease outside the esophagus, namely, the entire aerodigestive tract. Treatment of the spectrum of reflux diseases, be it isolated to the esophagus or proximal disease of the oropharynx or lungs, shares a common pathophysiology, and therefore, similar treatment strategies can be implemented with only slight variations. There is a range of effective pharmacologic treatment options for patients with reflux disease: acute symptoms of classic reflux may simply require over-the-counter (OTC) acid-neutralizing medications, while other individuals with more persistent, recurring symptoms need a more directed, long-term strategy requiring systemic medications. The nature of the disease is one of chronicity. Thus, a majority of patients started on acid-suppressant medications will have symptoms that require long-term pharmacologic treatment. With the high prevalence of reflux disease, the spectrum of reflux manifestations, and the array of products available to treat reflux, the clinical and financial burden of treating reflux patients is high. This chapter focuses on the pharmacologic treatment for reflux disease.

Keywords

Pharmacologic treatment Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Treatment strategies Reflux-moderating agents Acid-suppressing agents Prokinetic medications 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin HospitalMadisonUSA

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