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Gastritis medicines

4-minute read

Key facts

  • There are several different prescription medicines used to treat gastritis (inflammation of the stomach).
  • Gastritis medicines are used to treat both your symptoms and the inflammation in your stomach.
  • Acid-reducing medicines and antibiotics are the main types of gastritis medicines.
  • The whole course of antibiotics should be taken if you have H.pylori infection.

What is gastritis medication?

Gastritis is when your stomach lining becomes inflamed (irritated, swollen and red).

Gastritis has several causes, including infection. Your treatment will depend on the cause.

How does gastritis medicine work?

Gastritis medicines may be used to:

  • reduce the acid in your stomach
  • treat an infection with Helicobacter pylori (also called H. pylori), which is one cause of gastritis

What types of gastritis medicines might I be prescribed?

The medicines your doctor prescribes will depend on:

  • your symptoms
  • the type of gastritis you have
  • the cause of your gastritis

H2 blockers

H2 blockers are medicines that reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. They include:

  • famotidine
  • nizatidine

Another H2 blocker called ranitidine has been suspended by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

For more information and the latest updates, see TGA's alert on ranitidine

Proton pump inhibitors

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) also reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. They include:

  • esomeprazole
  • lansoprazole
  • omeprazole
  • pantoprazole
  • rabeprazole


Antacids work by neutralising stomach acid. They may be used to help improve symptoms, but other medicines will also be needed to treat gastritis.

Helicobacter pylori treatment

If you have Helicobacter pylori, this may be treated with several antibiotics, such as:

  • amoxycillin
  • clarithromycin

You will need to take these as well as medicine to reduce stomach acid — usually esomeprazole.

It’s important to take these medicines as instructed by your doctor. Make sure you finish the full course of antibiotics.

If you are allergic to penicillin, your doctor may recommend an antibiotic called metronidazole instead of amoxycillin.

After treatment, your doctor will recommend you have a test to check it has worked.

As well as gastritis, H. pylori infection can cause:

  • peptic ulcers
  • stomach cancer

Do gastritis medicines have any side effects or risks associated with them?

If you have gastritis, discuss with your doctor:

  • the benefits of medicines for gastritis
  • the risks of these medicines

H2 blockers

H2 blockers generally cause few side effects. Rare side effects are confusion, rash and problems with your blood cells.

Proton pump inhibitors

Proton pump inhibitors generally cause few side effects. The most common side effects of PPIs are:

Proton pump inhibitors are effective for short-term use. Long-term use isn’t recommended for most people, especially older people.


Antacids can stop some other medicines from working properly. They can also cause constipation or diarrhoea. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about this.

Helicobacter pylori treatment

Possible side effects from H. pylori treatment are:

  • nausea
  • changes to your sense of taste
  • diarrhoea
  • skin rashes

You should not drink alcohol if you are taking metronidazole. This can cause an unpleasant reaction.

Rare but serious side effects can include:

  • an infection of the bowel called ‘pseudomembranous enterocolitis’
  • an allergic reaction to antibiotics

When should I see my doctor?

See your doctor if you have ongoing symptoms. Also see your doctor if you have side effects when taking your gastritis medicines.

Go to the nearest hospital emergency department if you vomit blood or notice dark blood in your stool (poo) as these may be signs of stomach bleeding.

FIND A HEALTH SERVICE — The Service Finder can help you find doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and other health services.

Are there any alternatives to these medicines?

Avoiding taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and alcohol can treat gastritis in some people.

The treatment of gastritis depends on the cause.

Resources and support

The Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) has information on conditions that affect your gastrointestinal system.

The Gut Foundation also has information on gastrointestinal and digestive health.

You can also call the healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222 (known as NURSE-ON-CALL in Victoria). A registered nurse is available to speak with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Looking for more medicine information?

healthdirect’s medicines section allows you to search for medicines by brand name or active ingredient. It provides useful information about medicines such as their use, whether they are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and product recalls.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: May 2023

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