How can I afford my GERD medications during COVID-19?

2020-04-02

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The FDA released a statement saying the U.S. was experiencing its first drug shortage directly related to the coronavirus outbreak. It did not name the drug but said that there was a manufacturing issue with a pharmaceutical ingredient related to a site affected by coronavirus.

Affordable access to chronic disease medication is a serious gap in America’s Medicare system with dangerous implications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some people will be facing difficult decisions as the country faces a staggering number of lay-offs and applications for employment insurance.

For example, reflux, heartburn or GERD is a common disease. The brand name medications are expensive. What should people do now?

Yes, we have answers for you.

First, order affordable and safe medications from Canada. Canada offers the same drugs at cheaper prices (can be up to 80% off) because the Canadian government, which foots the bill for prescription drugs for certain sectors of the population, will not pay for a drug if a government review board believes the cost is excessive.

Second, consider generic medication instead of brand named one. A generic drug contains the same active ingredients as its branded cousin. Generic medications can cost about 80% to 85% less than the same brand-name drug.

This article will highlight medication options for GERD and include information on generic medications which are available compared with branded products.

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. Many people, including pregnant women, suffer from heartburn or acid indigestion caused by GERD.

Doctors believe that some people suffer from GERD due to a condition called hiatal hernia. In most cases, GERD can be relieved through diet and lifestyle changes; however, some people may require medication or surgery.

What Is the Treatment for GERD?

Along with lifestyle and diet changes, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription treatments.

Which OTC Meds Treat Heartburn?

There are a variety of heartburn medicines available over the counter to ease symptoms. If these don’t help enough, talk to your doctor about what else might help — in addition to lifestyle changes. Your doctor may want to see if gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is the cause of your symptoms.

Non-prescription medications that are used to treat heartburn include:

Antacids for Heartburn

Antacids neutralize stomach acid to cut down on heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion, and stomach upset. Some antacids also contain simethicone, an ingredient that helps your body get rid of gas. Some antacids contain ingredients that can cause diarrhea, such as magnesium, or constipation, such as aluminum.

Examples of antacids include:

Gaviscon Extra Strength Butterscotch

313mg/63mg, Alginic Acid

Product of Canada – Manufactured by Glaxo Smith Kline

Gaviscon Fruit

200mg/40mg, Alginic Acid

Product of Canada – Manufactured by Glaxo Smith Kline

Tums

500mg, 750mg, 1000mg, Calcium (Calcium Carbonate)

Product of Canada – Manufactured by Glaxo Smith Kline

Milk of Magnesia

Alternagel, Amphojel

Gelusil, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids

Pepto-Bismol

Acid Reducers for Heartburn

There are two types of drugs that cut down on the production of acid in the stomach: histamine antagonists (H2 antagonists or H2 blockers) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

Examples of H2 blockers available over the counter include:

Pepcid AC Maximum Strength

20mg, Famotidine

Product of Canada – Manufactured by McNeil Consumer Healthcare

The proton-pump inhibitors esomeprazole (Nexium 24HR), lansoprazole (Prevacid 24HR), and omeprazole (Prilosec OTC) are sold over-the-counter to treat frequent heartburn (two or more times per week) for 14 days.

These types of medicines are also available as higher-strength prescriptions. Take them according to the directions on the package or as advised by your doctor.

If these medications don’t relieve your symptoms, or if your heartburn symptoms get worse or last for longer than 2 weeks, you should see your doctor.

Combination Antacid/Acid Reducer for Heartburn

Pepcid Complete combines the acid-neutralizing capability of an antacid and the acid-reducing actions of an H2 blocker. Zegerid OTC combines a proton-pump inhibitor with sodium bicarbonate.

Prescription Drugs for Heartburn and Reflux

Frequent heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that occurs more than twice a week usually responds best to heartburn medicine that you take daily rather than just when you feel the heartburn.

Most of the over-the-counter treatments, are not meant to be taken daily for a long time. Check in with your doctor to see if you need a prescription medicine for your heartburn.

Antacids for Heartburn

Alka-Seltzer

324mg, Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Acetylsalicylic Acid

Product of Germany – Manufactured by Bayer

For chronic reflux and heartburn, the doctor may recommend medications to reduce acid in the stomach. These medicines include H2 blockers, which inhibit acid secretion in the stomach.

Histamine-2 (H2) Blockers for Heartburn and Reflux:

1 Famotidine

Famocid

of the U.S. brand Pepcid

20mg, Famotidine

Product of India – Manufactured by Sun Pharma

Famodin

Generic of the U.S. brand Pepcid

20mg, 40mg, Famotidine

Product of Turkey – Manufactured by Sandoz

Famotidine

Generic of the U.S. brand Pepcid

40mg, Famotidine

Product of United Kingdom – Manufactured by Various generic manufacturers

Cimetidine

Cimetidine

Generic of the U.S. brand Tagamet

200mg, 300mg, 400mg, 600mg, Cimetidine

Product of Canada – Manufactured by various generic manufacturers

Cimetidine

Generic of the U.S. brand Tagamet

200mg, 400mg, Cimetidine

Product of United Kingdom – Manufactured by various generic manufacturers

Ranitidine

Zantac

, Ranitidine Hydrochloride

Product of Canada – Manufactured by Glaxo Smith Kline

Ranitidine

Generic of the U.S. brand Zantac

150mg, 300mg, Ranitidine Hydrochloride

Product of Canada – Manufactured by various generic manufacturers

Ranitidine

Generic of the U.S. brand Zantac

150mg, 300mg, Ranitidine Hydrochloride

Product of United Kingdom – Manufactured by various generic manufacturers

Nizatidine

Axid

Brand Product

150mg, 300mg, Nizatidine

Product of Turkey – Manufactured by Actavis

Another type of drug, the proton pump inhibitor (or acid pump), inhibits an enzyme (a protein in the acid-producing cells of the stomach) necessary for acid secretion.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

Rabeprazole

Pariet

Brand Product, known as Aciphex in the U.S

10mg, Rabeprazole Sodium

Product of United Kingdom – Manufactured by Eisai

Parit

Brand Product, known as Aciphex in the U.S

20mg, Rabeprazole Sodium

Product of India – Manufactured by Glaxo Smith Kline

Rabeprazole

Generic of the U.S. brand Aciphex

10mg, 20mg, Rabeprazole Sodium

Product of Canada – Manufactured by various generic manufacturers

Razo

Generic of the U.S. brand Aciphex

10mg, Rabeprazole Sodium

Product of India – Manufactured by Dr. Reddys

Rabeprazole

Generic of the U.S. brand Aciphex

10mg, 20mg, Rabeprazole Sodium

Product of United Kingdom – Manufactured by various generic manufacturers

Pepcia

Generic of the U.S. brand Aciphex

20mg, Rabeprazole Sodium

Product of India – Manufactured by FDC

Rabeloc

Generic of the U.S. brand Aciphex

20mg, Rabeprazole Sodium

Product of India – Manufactured by Cadila

Esomeprazole (Nexium)

Nexium

Brand Product

20mg, 40mg, Esomeprazole Magnesium

Product of Sweden, United Kingdom – Manufactured by Astrazeneca

Nexium

Brand Product

40mg, Esomeprazole Magnesium

Product of Canada – Manufactured by Astrazeneca

Neksium

Brand Product, known as Nexium in the U.S.

20mg, Esomeprazole Magnesium

Product of India – Manufactured by Hetero Labs Ltd.

Esomeprazole

Generic of the U.S. brand Nexium

20mg, 40mg, Esomeprazole Magnesium

Product of Canada – Manufactured by various generic manufacturers

Izra

Generic of the U.S. brand Nexium

20mg, 40mg, Esomeprazole Magnesium

Product of India – Manufactured by Unichem

Esomeprazole

Generic of the U.S. brand Nexium

20mg, 40mg, Esomeprazole Magnesium

Product of United Kingdom – Manufactured by various generic manufacturers

Lansoprazole (Prevacid)

Prevacid

Brand Product

15mg, 30mg, Lansoprazole

Product of Canada – Manufactured by BGP Pharma Inc

Degastrol

Brand Product, known as Prevacid in the U.S.

Zoton FasTabs

Brand Product ,known as Prevacid SoluTab in the U.S.

15mg, Lansoprazole

Product of United Kingdom – Manufactured by Wyeth Inc.

Lansoprazole

Generic of the U.S. brand Prevacid

15mg, 30mg, Lansoprazole

Product of Canada – Manufactured by various generic manufacturers

Lansazol

Generic of the U.S. brand Prevacid

30mg, Lansoprazole

Product of Turkey – Manufactured by Sandoz

Omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid)

Losec

Brand Product, known as Prilosec in the U.S.

20mg, Omeprazole

Product of Canada – Manufactured by Astrazeneca

Omeprazole

Generic of the U.S. brand Prilosec

10mg, 20mg, Omeprazole

Product of Canada – Manufactured by various generic manufacturers

Pantoprazole (Protonix)

Somac

Brand Product, known as Protonix in the U.S.

20mg, 40mg, Pantoprazole Sodium

Product of Australia – Manufactured by Takeda

Pantoloc

Brand Product, known as Protonix in the U.S.

20mg, 40mg, Pantoprazole Sodium

Product of Canada – Manufactured by Takeda

Pantpas

Brand Product, known as Protonix in the U.S.

40mg, Pantoprazole Sodium

Product of Germany – Manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Pantoprazole

Generic of the U.S. brand Protonix

20mg, 40mg, Pantoprazole Sodium

Product of Canada – Manufactured by Sandoz

Pantosec

Generic of the U.S. brand Protonix

40mg, Pantoprazole Sodium

Product of India – Manufactured by Cipla

Panref

Generic of the U.S. brand Protonix

40mg, Pantoprazole Sodium

Product of Turkey – Manufactured by Bio Farma

Pantocid

Generic of the U.S. brand Protonix

40mg, Pantoprazole Sodium

Product of India – Manufactured by Sun Pharma

Dexlansoprazole

Dexilant

Brand Product

30mg, 60mg, Dexlansoprazole

Product of Canada – Manufactured by Takeda

DDR

Generic of the U.S. brand Dexilant

30mg, 60mg, Dexlansoprazole

Product of India – Manufactured by MSN Lab

Promotility Agents for Heartburn and Reflux

Metoclopramide

Metonia

Generic of the U.S. brand Reglan

5mg, Metoclopramide

Product of Canada – Manufactured by Pendopharm

The specter of global drug shortages looms large amid the coronavirus pandemic. But so far, the supply chain is holding steady and prices are going up—in the generic drug business, at least. COVID-19 could turn out to be a profitable time for the generics industry.

Reference:

webmd.com

censalud.es

healthydebate.ca

howtotreatheartburn.com

fiercepharma.com


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