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Anti Ulcer Drugs

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Anti Ulcer Drugs are medicines used to treat ulcers in the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine.

The Anti Ulcer Drugs are used as part of the treatment for ulcers. Ulcers are sores or raw areas that form in the lining of the stomach or the duodenum (the upper part of the intestine). Those that form in the stomach are called Gastric Ulcers; in the duodenum, they are called Duodenal Ulcers. Both types are referred to as Peptic Ulcers. For a long time, physicians thought that stress and certain foods caused ulcers.

Now they know that most ulcers are caused either by infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter Pylori or by long-term use of aspirin or other Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen. In either case, something damages the barrier of mucus that normally protects the stomach and duodenum from the powerful acids and enzymes that the body produces to digest food. When that happens, the acids and enzymes begin to eat away at the unprotected tissue, causing ulcers.

Ulcers do not always cause symptoms. When they do, they usually cause a gnawing or burning pain - something like hunger pangs - between the breastbone and the navel. The pain often occurs early in the morning or between meals and may be temporarily relieved by eating or by taking Antacids. Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and weight loss are other symptoms of ulcers. If ulcers bleed, the blood may show up in the form of black, tarry stools.

In addition to Antibiotics, to clear up the Helicobacter Pylori infection, physicians use several types of Anti Ulcer Drugs that reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces or that protect the lining of the stomach and duodenum.

Getting the proper treatment for ulcers is important, because ulcers can lead to serious complications, such as bleeding, swelling, and scarring. If the swelling and scarring are severe, the opening between the stomach and intestine may become blocked. Untreated ulcers may also eat through the wall of the stomach or duodenum. When that happens, bacteria and partially digested food may leak into the body cavity and cause a life-threatening condition called peritonitis.

The three basic types of Anti Ulcer Drugs are H2-blockers, Acid Pump Inhibitors, and Mucosal Protective Medications.
  • H2-Blockers block the production of Histamine, a substance that stimulates acid secretion. By blocking Histamine, these drugs reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces.
  • Acid Pump Inhibitors completely block the production of stomach acid by stopping the final step in acid secretion.
  • Mucosal Protective Medications create a protective barrier that allows the ulcer to heal and prevents further damage to the stomach and duodenum.

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