- A majority of patients self-medicate with over-the-counter remedies to
relieve ongoing symptoms -
BETHESDA, Md., May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite daily use of doctor-recommended proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to control gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms, nearly 40 percent of patients who take them continue to experience breakthrough, which is a return of GERD symptoms, such as acid regurgitation and heartburn. These breakthrough symptoms lead more than half of GERD sufferers to use over-the-counter (OTC) remedies, according to a survey recently conducted by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.
The survey of 1,064 people with GERD found that approximately 56 percent of those who experienced breakthrough used an OTC treatment -- the majority using an antacid -- to manage breakthrough symptoms. Further, taking an OTC in addition to a PPI has become routine for these respondents. In fact, more than 70 percent have been using OTC medications for at least one year.
"The survey results show that people with GERD are not only using their
prescribed PPI, but also are turning to over-the-counter remedies as a
stop-gap when they have breakthrough symptoms," said John Inadomi, MD,
associate professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco.
Additional survey findings showed that:
-- More than 40 percent of respondents on a PPI who experience
breakthrough symptoms, report those symptoms occur two to four times
-- Respondents report breakthrough symptoms occur throughout the day,
sometimes multiple times per day. Sixty-five percent of GERD sufferers
experienced breakthrough at night and 28 percent report sleep
disruption because of their symptoms.
-- Among patients suffering from breakthrough symptoms, at least 50
percent are not fully satisfied with the specific symptom relief (e.g.,
|SOURCE AGA Institute|
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