Tummy Troubles : Road to Relief - by Staff

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Back to home » HIV 101 » POZ Focus » Tummy Troubles

Table of Contents

Tummy Troubles

Tummy Trouble Sore Spots

Problems with Pills

What the Pros Say

Southern Irritation

Road to Relief

Special Agents OTC AND RX

Dangerous Crossing

Tough Choices—But Hope!

Worth the Effort

Drug Trafficking

Practical Do's and Don'ts

What You're Talking About
Losing Hope (blog) (20 comments)

You Can't Hurry Love (14 comments)

I Watched Charlie Sheen on The Dr. Oz Show So You Don't Have To (blog) (14 comments)

Charlie Sheen S&%ts On 30 Years of AIDS Activism (blog) (13 comments)

Remember Their Names: World AIDS Day 2015 (blog) (12 comments)

Prudential to Offer Individual Life Insurance to People With HIV (7 comments)
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


Road to Relief

by Staff

A smart guide to help you find your best remedy

With so many different tummy problems, it is not surprising that there are many different kinds of treatments. And like salsa, they come mild, medium and extra-strength.

Symptom relief for most tummy troubles usually starts with changes in lifestyle and food choices. Next come inexpensive over-the-counter (OTC) treatments. When heavy-duty help is needed, most docs turn to prescription (RX) drugs.

Though OTC and RX remedies vary in potency, they are called “gastric modifiers” because they reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. No matter the cause of GI distress, changes in diet and lifestyle (see page 6) are the best starting place. For those needing additional help, here’s a brief introduction to the drugs your doctor may recommend for GERD and heartburn. (Ask your doctor about the remedies listed for diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, most of which are less likely to interact with HIV drugs.)

Antacids are available OTC and are the quickest-acting group of drugs, but they don’t provide long- term relief. Calcium-based antacids and those with aluminum hydroxide can interact with some HIV meds and H2 blockers, so use caution. Those with sodium bicarbonate work quickly but are not recommended for those on a low salt diet.

H2 blockers, or H2 receptor antagonists, are used to treat mild, periodic heartburn. Most can be purchased OTC as generics. H2 blockers take longer to work—30 minutes to an hour—but are valued because they can ease heartburn for 6 to 12 hours. A few stronger H2 blockers are also available by prescription but they are the same as the OTC versions, just at higher doses.

Most Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are prescription drugs that are used to treat more serious and prolonged heartburn and GERD, and to help heal ulcers, generally in people who have had severe problems for at least three months despite  treatment with other drugs. A number of these have interactions with HIV meds.

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