Treating Tender Tummies: Specialty Compounding for GERD and Stomach Ulcers
Both gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and stomach ulcers are painful and eventually dangerous, yet few of us pay much attention to these kinds of health problems. Perhaps it’s because I’m not as adept with handling stress as I ought to be, I, like millions of Americans, am now learning what it is to experience the regular searing pain that comes with GERD. And, like other Americans, I need to pay attention and ensure that I don’t allow this problem to develop into something worse. Specialty compounding for GERD and stomach ulcers is an important area for compounding pharmacies, and a great way to meet the needs of a large group of patients.
Reflux and GERD
What we commonly call heartburn or acid reflux is one of the most common digestive troubles. One Swedish study found that 6 percent of people experience symptoms of reflux every day, and 14 percent every week. Typically, having reflux that often signals GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. GERD happens when acid or, sometimes, even stomach contents, come back up into the esophagus or food pipe. This reflux which contains very corrosive stomach acid irritates the lining of the esophagus, causing the disease.
Both acid reflux and heartburn are common digestive conditions that many people experience from time to time. When these signs and symptoms occur at least twice each week or interfere with your daily life, or when your doctor can see damage to your esophagus, you may be diagnosed with GERD. Aside from being painful, GERD can harm the esophagus over time or even lead to esophageal cancer.
Specialty compounding can help people with GERD as treatments that include acid-reducing drugs, such as the proton pump inhibitors rabeprazole sodium (found in Aciphex), omeprazole (found in Nexium and Prilosec), lansoprazole (found in Prevacid), and pantoprazole sodium (found in Protonix) are good options for many and can be compounded. The H2 blockers nizatidine (found in Axid), famotidine (found in Pepcid), cimetidine (found in Tagamet), and ranitidine (found in Zantac) can also be compounded.
Another way that custom compounding helps patients with GERD is by allowing them to bypass their gastric system altogether as they medicate their illness. Compounding pharmacists have long created custom topical compounds for arthritis patients, for example; this is because these patients have long-term medication requirements that can eventually cause stomach ulcers when taken through the digestive system. For those with gastric difficulties, bypassing the GI tract altogether is a major benefit.
Feeling pain in the belly, many Americans reach for over-the-counter pain remedies like aspirin or ibuprofen. Unfortunately, this often makes the problem worse if ulcers are the cause of the pain. On the numbers, ulcers may well be the source: more than 25 million Americans will cope with stomach ulcers at some point in their life.
Ulcers in the stomach are often caused by Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that disrupt the protective layer of mucus that protects the stomach from its own acids. Without that mucus, sores in the stomach’s lining and sometimes the upper area of the small intestine can form. Excessive use of NSAIDs like ibuprofen and smoking also elevate stomach acidity, leading to ulcers. Experts say that alcohol use and stress can aggravate symptoms, but they are not known to cause ulcers on their own.
Specialty compounding is helpful to patients with stomach ulcers. First, like those with GERD they often need to reduce the amount of acid in their stomachs, and some require prescriptions to do so. Ulcer patients also often need antibiotics, because at least 80 percent of ulcers in the stomach are caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Ulcer patients can receive a customized prescription for their ulcers and bypass their GI system to take it, further reducing the stress on their already overburdened GI tract.
Compounding for GERD and stomach ulcers is the ideal way to give painful bellies a break while administering the right medications safely. More and more health care providers are turning to the services of compounding pharmaceutical professionals to meet these kinds of specialty needs, and patients are demanding that they do. This increased interest makes compounding topical treatments for GERD and stomach ulcers an ideal focus area for your business or practice.
Compounding topical treatments for painful GERD and stomach ulcers and other specialty medications for painful gastroenterological problems is an area of growing interest for practitioners on the cutting edge. Fortunately, you have the ability to purchase your products and receive information from a reliable source. For more about pharmaceutical compounding and purchasing bulk APIs, please contact Pharmaceutica North America, your trusted compounding resource.