Medication For Gastrointestinal Disorders

Gastro-intestinal disorders can bring a lot of discomfort and pain. Some of these conditions might prevent people from participating in physical activities, others from being able to eat different food without experiencing painful burning sensation and acid reflux. Fortunately, gastro-intestinal medications help to get rid of such symptoms. Moreover, gastrointestinal drugs help to smooth the unfavourable effect of other medicines, for example, the negative influence of drug therapies such as chemotherapy by providing anti-nausea and vomiting effects. These medications can also be used in patients who have general anesthesia during surgical procedures to combat nausea.

There are many generic drugs as well as brand-name medications for the treatment of different gastro-intestinal conditions. If you are recommended and prescribed one of the gastro-intestinal medicines, it is important to take it according to the instructions.

Overview of gastro-intestinal medications

Granisetron (Kytril) is a drug that affects certain chemicals in the body that cause nausea.  This medication is used in patients who experience nausea to prevent vomiting. It is often used together with medications for cancer during radiation or chemotherapy to prevent nausea which often occurs as a side-effect.  Granisetron can be used along with anesthesia to prevent severe nausea.

Esomeprazole (Nexium, Neksium) decreases the quantity of stomach acid. It is usually prescribed to treat the conditions caused by stomach acid.  Among such conditions are gastroesophageal reflux disease and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. This medicine can also effectively manage erosive esophagitis, which is caused by stomach acid.  Esomeprazole can be used to prevent the development of gastric ulcer which might be caused by using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

Omeprazole (Prilosec, Losec) reduces the amount of acid produced within the stomach due to such unfavourable condition as gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is indicated for healing of damaged tissue within the esophagus caused by erosive esophagitis. This medication is often prescribed as a combination treatment with antibiotic medications to manage gastric ulcer provoked by a helicobacter pylori infection. This medication can also be used to manage a number of other conditions provoked by stomach acid.

Lansoprazole (Prevacid) lowers the amount of stomach acid. It effectively treats and prevents ulcers of the stomach and intestine. Lansoprazole can be used to manage such conditions as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and erosive esophagitis. This medication treats the conditions caused by overproduction of acid by the stomach.

Rabeprazole (Aciphex) is a drug  that prevents stomach from producing the excessive quantities of acid.  It is an effective medication for such diseases as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Rabeprazole is often used together with antibiotic medications in order to prevent the development of gastric ulcer caused by H. pylori infection.

Famotidine (Pepcid ) is a  histamine-2 blocker. The main action of this drug is reducing of the amount of acid produced within the stomach. Famotidine is an effective preventative drug for stomach and intestinal ulcers.  This drug can be used to manage such conditions as gastroesophageal reflux disease and any other conditions where an overproduction of stomach acid causes the heartburn.

Pantoprazole (Protonix) is a medication of the class of medications known as proton pump inhibitors, which work to reduce the amount of stomach acid. It is prescribed for the conditions caused by the excess of stomach acid.  Pantoprazole is also indicated to treat the conditions which damage the esophagus because of the overproduction of stomach acid.

Tegaserod maleate (Zelnorm) helps to deal with constipation.  It is indicated for women and patients under sixty-five years old. Tegaserod maleate deals with such conditions as meteorism and abdominal pain.

Ranitidine (Zantac) is a histamine-2 blocker. This drug decreases the amount of stomach acid.   It is a potent drug that effectively treats stomach and intestinal ulcers and is also prescribed to treat other conditions caused by excessive stomach acid production. Ranitidine also treats an esophagus which has been irritated due to the stomach acid.

Balsalazide (Colazal) is generally prescribed to treat ulcerative colitis and a number of other conditions.

Cisapride (Propulsid) is a medicine that improves the digestion process.  It’s a good medication treatment for gastric reflux and a good remedy for smoothing the symptoms of heartburn.

Aprepitant (Emend) is an anti-nausea medicine that prevents certain chemicals from causing nausea and vomiting.  This medication is often prescribed in combination with other drugs to stop nausea that can happen during chemotherapy. It is widely used to avoid feeling of nausea that can occur due to the anesthesia after surgical procedures.

Ondansetron (Zofran) is a medication that prevents nausea and vomiting. It can be used during chemotherapy or radiation to prevent nausea in patients who have cancer. This drug also helps to avoid nausea caused by anesthesia given during surgery.

Mesalamine (Asacol) medication is generally recommended for the patients who suffer from an ulcerative colitis.

Itopride (Ganaton) is a prokinetic benzamide derivative. This medication works by blocking chemical dopamine. It is prescribed as a medication for the treatment of digestive disturbance and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Reglan (Maxolon) increases the action of stomach and small intestine contractions. It is widely used by diabetic patients who have such condition as diabetic gastroparesis.  This drug helps to smooth such symptoms of diabetic gastroparesis as burning sensation, vomiting, digestion disorders, loss of appetite and some others.  Reglan is also prescribed to treat heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disorder. It is used to manage nausea caused by chemotherapy or anesthesia.

Metoclopramide (Clopra) is one of the medications that belong to the group of medications known as dopamine receptor antagonists.  This drug helps the stomach to empty itself. It is prescribed for the patients with chronic heartburn.  Metoclopramide is usually recommended when other medications failed to manage the condition. It is used to treat espophagal tissue affected with the heartburn.   Metoclopramide is also prescribed for diabetes patients who have problem with bowel movements.

Domperidone (Motilium, Gastractiv) improves the stomach and bowel movement contractions.  This medication helps to prevent nausea and vomiting that might be caused by the use of other medications.

Pro Banthine is used in treatment of the conditions that are characterized by the excess production of stomach acid.

Compazine (Stemetil) influence the dopamine-a chemical found in the body and prevents nausea and vomiting.  In some cases Compazine can be used as short-term medication therapy in treating schizophrenia or general anxiety.

Actigall (Ursodiol, Ursofalk) is used in patients who have gallstones to dissolve them.  This medication can be an alternative to the surgery for many patients. It can be taken as a preventative drug for individuals who keep a diet and lose their weight rapidly which might lead to gallstones.

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Gastrointestinal Disorders Treatment

To manage gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) acid-suppressive treatment is generally used. Such agents as antacids, histamine2 receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are widely used in treating of GERD. Treatment with prokinetic agents is not used as often because these medications are not tolerated very well in some cases.


Antacid agents help to neutralize stomach acid rapidly but the drawback is that their action lasts not long. Besides, these agents can cause drug interactions. These medicines work well in treating heartburn, but show less effectiveness in treating reflux esophagitis. Side effects of antacid agents generally refer to the digestive tract causing diarrhea or constipation. People who suffer from renal insufficiency should use these medications with caution because of the risk of accumulation of magnesium and aluminum contained in antacids which can cause toxicity.

Histamine2 receptor antagonists

In comparison with antacid medications, histamine2 receptor antagonists such as nonprescription medications as cimetidine, famotidine, ranitidine, and nizatidine act for a longer period but they begin their action more slowly.  Histamine2 receptor antagonists are effectively used to prevent and treat heartburn that occurs after taking foods but don’t have the noticeable results when treating esophagitis.

Not long ago the FDA approved Omeprazole (Prilosec) as nonprescription drug.  This medication is the first over-the-counter drug available for the treatment of heartburn. Prilosec is recommended to be used for a 14-day course of treatment. Note that this medication is not approved for treating of heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease. Nevertheless, Omeprazole can be prescribed for managing such conditions as esophagitis and smoothing the symptoms of GERD. Because of the serious nature of GERD complications, people who suffer from frequent heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease should consult with the medical provider regarding the right treatment but not try to manage their disease on their own with over-the-counter treatments.

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