New Guides Compare Benefits and Risks of GERD treatment

Posted by: admin on: October 24, 2011

GERD affects many people all over the world making it one of the most common conditions. What should be the ideal treatment? Medical or surgical? A recent publication favors the drug based therapy.

Team@CMHF

GERD, sometimes known as acid reflux disease, occurs when stomach contents frequently back up into the esophagus. GERD often causes heartburn, which occurs when stomach acid irritates the esophagus. Some patients with GERD develop a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus is damaged by stomach acid, which can increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

Many patients have frequent, severe symptoms requiring long-term regular use of antireflux medications. For these people with chronic GERD, the goals of therapy usually are improvement in symptoms and quality of life and the prevention of complications such as Barrett’s esophagus.

It is commonly recognized that some drugs used to treat GERD, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), are overused, according to the report. The AHRQ report found that PPIs tend to be more effective than other drugs, but comparisons show few consistent differences between PPI types or dosages. PPIs cause some side effects, such as diarrhea and headaches, but these were generally not serious.

The report concluded that established drug-based therapy is effective. It also concluded that a type of surgical treatment known as laparoscopic fundoplication is at least as effective as drug-based medical treatment for some patients, but also had a higher risk of serious side effects. Another surgical treatment using an endoscopic variation of fundoplication also has been used to treat GERD, but AHRQ’s analysis found there is not enough evidence to compare this type of surgery’s effectiveness with other treatments.

Reference: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-guides-compare-benefits-and-risks-of-gerd-treatments-2011-09-23

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