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Esophageal Spasm


Esophageal spasm is a sudden, painful tightening of your lower esophagus. Your esophagus is the tube that food and liquids pass through from your mouth to your stomach. You may have trouble when you swallow. Food may get stuck in your esophagus. You may also have pain in your chest and heartburn.



Ask about these and other medicines you may be given:

  • Pain medicine: This medicine helps take away or decrease pain caused by the spasms.
  • Smooth muscle relaxants: This medicine may help your muscles and esophagus relax so it is easier for you to swallow. It may also decrease your pain and trouble swallowing.
  • Proton pump inhibitors: This medicine may help reduce stomach acid and prevent heartburn.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your symptoms do not improve even with treatment.
  • You have severe pain when you swallow.
  • You lose weight without trying.
  • You have questions about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You are drooling or have trouble swallowing .
  • You are choking, gagging, or vomiting.
  • You have pain when you swallow.
  • You have new or worse chest pain and shortness of breath.

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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.

Learn more about Esophageal Spasm (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

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