Mechanism of action and safety of heartburn therapies
Colonography, Computed Tomographic
Heartburn is a frequent problem for adults in the United States and is the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease. This often troublesome symptom, when frequent and severe enough, has a major impact on quality of life. The primary goal, successful management of heartburn, is achievable for most patients. The choice of therapy is based on understanding 1) the mechanism of acid secretion/production, 2) the pathophysiology of heartburn, 3) the mechanisms of action of antisecretory therapies, and 4) the safety profiles of available agents. This review focuses on the epidemiology and pathophysiology of heartburn as well as on treatment options. This information can help care providers increase their patients' awareness of the benefits and limitations of the various available therapies so that patients can successfully manage their heartburn.