Understanding gastritis medication
Gastritis occurs when your stomach lining becomes inflamed (swollen and red). It can last for a short time then go away, or it can last a long time.
Gastritis has several causes, including infection. Treatment will depend on the cause.
Sometimes the symptoms of gastritis can be eased by eating and drinking in ways that don’t irritate your stomach.
To treat your stomach gently:
- avoid alcohol
- avoid foods that give you pain
- eat smaller meals
- avoid using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS
However, sometimes medication is needed. Medication may be used to:
- reduce the production of stomach acid
- make the stomach less acidic
- treat an infection with Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori, which is a common cause of gastritis
Types of gastritis medications
H2 blockers are medicines that reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. They include ranitidine and famotidine.
Proton pump inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors are like H2 blockers, but stronger. They include omeprazole and pantoprazole.
Antacids work by neutralising stomach acid.
Helicobacter Pylori treatment
This usually combines antibiotics with acid reducing medications such as proton pump inhibitors.
Important information about gastritis medication
It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions closely. If you have been prescribed antibiotics, make sure you finish the full course.
Proton pump inhibitors are very safe and effective for short-term use. But long-term use isn’t recommended for most people, especially older people. If you have been taking proton pump inhibitors for a long time, talk to your doctor about whether you can reduce your dose.
Antacids neutralise stomach acid but they can stop some of your other medications from working properly. They can also cause constipation or diarrhoea. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about this.
If you have gastritis, discuss with your doctor:
- the benefits of medicine for gastritis
- the risks of medicine
See your doctor if you vomit blood or notice blood in your stool (your toilet) as these may be signs of stomach bleeding.
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Last reviewed: March 2020