(WTNH) – News 8 is available to you. Doctors are flooded with calls from patients after the popular heartburn medication Zantac was voluntarily removed from the shelves.
The FDA issued a warning: the over-the-counter medication has an impurity that could cause cancer.
Gastroenterologist Dr. Amir Masoud with Yale Medicine is busy answering questions.
He says: "We received a lot of calls because patients say yes, I didn't believe in the news, but now that it's gone, what should I take?"
Related: Over-the-counter medication for heartburn that Zantac obtained in the US. UU. And canada
Patients want to know: what can I take instead of Zantac?
He replies: "Going to what I have about something they can buy and buy is an over-the-counter alternative called Gaviscon, that's an excellent one that has something called sodium alginate."
Are there natural remedies for heartburn, a symptom of acid reflux?
“I tell you with your meals, a pear, an apple. Pectin will be really important. And the way I discovered this was eating my daughter's little jelly beans with pectin. It completely relieves heartburn, ”says Dr. Massoud.
Related: News 8 on Call: Why did pharmacies stop selling Zantac?
What about baking soda?
“A natural thing that people do is drink some baking soda, put it in water and drink. That's fine because basically what you are doing is neutralizing gastric acidity and that will help calm things down a bit to the point of burning. "
Is mint tea effective?
"Yes, peppermint tea is excellent for calming things down," says Dr. Massoud, "but it actually makes reflux worse. Peppermint itself causes esophageal valve relaxation. That relaxation obviously, by definition, opens the barrier and cause more reflux. So, while it's excellent for everything else, if you have reflux, you should probably avoid it. "
Some ask: what shouldn't I be doing?
He points out: “The things I tell people not to do on the other side are, and people swear by this. Despite what I tell you, there are things like apple cider vinegar. That kind of things. That does not help with reflux, but it is acidic. It can help with the symptoms that are attributed to reflux but are not really treating reflux. "
Related: Generic version of Zantac released from the market
Which is the best strategy?
"The best strategies are really prevention," says Dr. Massoud, "it is very difficult for me to sell this to a patient that if he modifies the way he eats, if he modifies the time he eats, he can really improve the symptoms. We know this. There are volumes of data that suggest this and support this. "
Specifically, Dr. Massoud prescribes: eat smaller and more frequent meals, and avoid eating late or near bedtime. Also, raise the head of the bed to reduce reflux.
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