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Corrosive Esophagitis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 1, 2023.

Corrosive esophagitis is damage to your esophagus from harmful substances. The damage may cause inflammation, ulcers, or scarring.

Digestive Tract


Seek care immediately if:

  • You feel like food or medicine is stuck in your esophagus and it does not go down when you drink water.
  • Your vomit has blood in it or looks like coffee grounds.
  • You have black or bloody bowel movements.
  • Your symptoms are getting worse.

Call your doctor or gastroenterologist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have pain that does not decrease or go away after you take your pain medicine.
  • You vomit and cannot keep food or liquids down.
  • Your stomach feels very full, and you cannot burp or vomit.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


You may need any of the following:

  • Antibiotics help treat or prevent a bacterial infection in your esophagus.
  • Steroids help decrease inflammation.
  • Stomach acid medicine helps decrease irritation from stomach acids.
  • Antiulcer medicine helps decrease irritation from stomach acids. They may help increase the protective lining of the esophagus to help it heal.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Nutrition to help your esophagus heal:

You may need to eat foods that are soft and easy to swallow. Some examples are applesauce, bananas, cooked cereal, cottage cheese, eggs, and yogurt.

Prevent corrosive esophagitis:

  • Sit or stand when you take your medicine. Do not lie down after you take your pills. Stay in an upright position for 10 to 15 minutes after you take your pills.
  • Store harmful chemicals in a safe location. Label bottles with harmful substances.
  • Ask for other ways to take your medicine. If you have a narrow esophagus, ask if you can take your medicine in liquid form. Ask if you can crush the pill and mix it with liquid to drink. If you must swallow pills, take them 1 at a time. Take each one with 4 ounces of liquid.

Follow up with your doctor or gastroenterologist as directed:

You may need to have another endoscopy to make sure your esophagus is healing. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.