A study published this month in The American Journal of Gastroenterology found that most patients are not taking their heartburn medications correctly. The study compared patients who purchased heartburn medications like Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec. It showed that 39% of patients took the medication correctly when purchased over the counter, 47% with a prescription from their primary care physician, and 71% with a prescription from a specialist.
If the patients would have purchased them from us, I’m sure the percentage of patients knowing how to take their medication would be higher. Our pharmacists are here to educate you on your medications. Nexium is now over the counter too. If you purchase over the counter medications feel free to ask your pharmacist questions.
If you don’t take this medication correctly it won’t work as well and you’ll be wasting your money. It is important to take this type of heartburn medication a half hour before you eat. Most patients take this in the morning before breakfast.
Also, if you take these medications as needed, it won’t work as well since it takes about 3 to 7 days to start working. It is best to think of these acid reducers as preventative that need to be used daily. If you are experiencing heartburn, Tums or Rolaids can treat your heartburn.
For more information about the study you can visit www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_146760.html.