DOCTOR'S VIEWS ARCHIVE
Topic: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), June 2000
A viewer is trying to conceive and she also suffers from GERD, what medications are safe to use during pregnancy?
The first is lifestyle changes. These would include not eating or drinking several hours before going to bed. This reduces the amount of acid in the stomach when you lie down at night, and there is less acid to reflux into the esophagus.
The second thing that can be done is to elevate the head of the bed. This way it is less likely that acid from the stomach will reflux back up into the esophagus.
Finally, pregnant women can chew gum. Chewing gum actually stimulates saliva which contains bicarbonate, which is swallowed and neutralizes acid within the esophagus. Antacids in low doses probably are safe to use during pregnancy, as is Gaviscon.
None of the medications usually used to treat GERD have been tested for safety to the fetus during pregnancy, so their use is not really recommended during pregnancy.
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