Medicines are used to:
- Treat peptic ulcers by reducing the amount of acid produced by the stomach.
- Kill Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria if they are infecting the stomach lining.
- Protect the lining of the stomach and upper small intestine from injury caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These include aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil), and naproxen (such as Aleve).
Medicines to reduce stomach acid Medicines that reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach are used to treat all forms of peptic ulcer disease.
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (such as Prilosec). Some PPIs are available without a prescription.
- H2 blockers (such as Zantac). Some H2 blockers are available without a prescription.
- Antacids (such as Tums).
Medicines to kill H. pylori bacteria
Doctors prescribe combination drug therapy to cure infection with H. pylori bacteria. This usually includes at least two antibiotics, a proton pump inhibitor and sometimes a bismuth compound.
Medicines to protect the stomach
Medicines used to protect the stomach from damage caused by frequent use of aspirin or other NSAIDs include:
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (such as Prilosec).
- H2 blockers (such as Zantac).
- Prostaglandin analogs (such as Cytotec).
You can get some H2 blockers and PPIs without a prescription (over the counter or OTC). If you are using OTC acid reducers (such as Prilosec or Pepcid) to help with your symptoms for more than 10 to 14 days at a time, or if your symptoms are very bad, be sure to see your doctor.
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