Stomach or the gastric ulcer is the most common types of ulcer. It is a sore or abrasion in the inner lining of the stomach that can be caused due to a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori. This bacteria enters the human body thorough contaminated food and water. Stomach ulcers also develop when there is a destruction in the inner lining of the stomach due to acid imbalance. On the other hand, prolonged use of anti-inflammatory medications and cigarette smoking can also result in stomach or gastric ulcers. Ulcers can be treated effectively with the help of medication.
A burning sensation in the stomach is the most prominent symptom of gastric ulcer. But, it is often mistaken for the symptoms of heartburn or indigestion. Secondly, abdominal pain is also a stomach ulcer symptom, as it is of nearly all diseases related to the gastrointestinal tract. It is also peculiar that apart from these, the other symptoms of stomach ulcer vary from person to person. For e.g., some people experience pain immediately after having meals, while others may experience it if they do not have any meals. On the other hand, some people experience abdominal pain at night, so intense that they wake up from the sleep. Similarly, in some people, the pain can be relieved by having cold milk or taking antacids. Although it is one of the effective remedies to ease the discomfort, it is not actually a treatment method. It is essential to take proper treatment using medications in order to treat this condition. Let us take a look at stomach ulcer medication and treatment in detail.
Stomach ulcer needs to be treated as soon as possible to prevent other complications, like perforation on the stomach wall and anemia. Therefore, if you observe any discomfort after / before having meals that persists for more than one day, you should consult the doctor immediately. Endoscopy and blood tests are used to diagnose stomach ulcer. The doctor will prescribe medication and antibiotics that help in treating the disease.
Before knowing more on the medication, it is essential to note that this information is not meant to substitute proper medical advice and treatment. It is essential to consult the doctor before taking any medication. The type of medication to be taken, depends on the cause of the ulcer; whether it is caused due to the Helicobacter pylori bacteria or due to a rise in the acid level of the stomach. In earlier times, surgery was the only method used to treat stomach ulcers. However, nowadays, surgery is used only in severe and extreme cases, or if complications arise. As there are a number of drugs and antibiotics available, stomach ulcer can be completely treated just by taking oral medications.
Amoxicillin, Metronidazole and Tetracycline are the antibiotics used to kill Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the stomach. Along with these drugs, sometimes, acid suppressant drugs are also needed. This is known as combination or triple therapy. These antibiotics are taken for 1-2 weeks depending on the severity of the disease. On the other hand, if stomach ulcer was caused due to imbalance in stomach acid, medications like Proton pump inhibitors or PPI (Esomeprazole, Omeprazole, Pantoprazole, etc.) and H2 receptors or blockers (Cimetidine, Famotidine, Nizatidine, etc.) are used. They help in reducing the acid production in the stomach.
Antacids are widely used to treat acidity, heartburn. However, it should be noted that antacids are ineffective in treating ulcers. Antacids are available over-the-counter and simply suppress the symptoms, rather than treating them completely. On the other hand, the aforementioned treatment methods effectively treat stomach ulcers. Now, in severe cases, if the bleeding does not stop even on taking medication, a surgery may be required.
Stomach ulcers can also be prevented by having healthy meals and completely cutting down on cigarettes and caffeine. Similarly, proper and timely treatment is essential. But, it is strongly recommended to not take any of the above mentioned stomach ulcer medications without the doctor's consultation!