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Management of gastroesophageal reflux disease in adults: a pharmacist’s perspective

Authors MacFarlane B

Received 24 January 2018

Accepted for publication 30 March 2018

Published 5 June 2018 Volume 2018:7 Pages 41—52

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IPRP.S142932

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling


Brett MacFarlane1,2

1Australian College of Pharmacy, Canberra, ACT, Australia; 2Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Abstract: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common gastrointestinal diagnosis, a leading reason for endoscopy and cause of potentially serious complications, resulting in significant individual and system-wide health burden. Approximately one quarter of people living in western countries have experienced GERD, and the prevalence appears to be on the rise. Risk factors for GERD include hiatus hernia, obesity, high-fat diet, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, pregnancy, genetics, and some medications. The cardinal symptoms of GERD are troublesome heartburn and regurgitation. GERD is identified by taking a patient-centered history and if necessary can be classified by endoscopic investigation. The role of the pharmacist in the management of GERD is to confirm the diagnosis by history taking, confirm there are no alarming signs or symptoms that require referral to a doctor, and recommendation of short-term therapy to control symptoms. Effective pharmacological treatments for GERD include antacids, alginate, histamine H2 receptor antagonists, and proton pump inhibitors. This narrative review includes a comparison of the efficacy and safety of these treatments and pertinent information to help pharmacists advise patients with GERD on their appropriate use.

Keywords: GERD, GORD, reflux, pharmacist, PPI

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