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Peptic Ulcer


A peptic ulcer is an open sore in the lining of your stomach, intestine, or esophagus. Peptic ulcers have different names, depending on their location. Gastric ulcers are peptic ulcers in the stomach. Duodenal ulcers are peptic ulcers in the intestine. A peptic ulcer in the esophagus is called an esophageal ulcer. Peptic ulcers may be a short-term or long-term problem.

Digestive Tract



  • Medicines that decrease the amount of acid made by your stomach may be given. You may also need medicines that protect your stomach lining from acid and antibiotics to treat H. pylori infection.
  • 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.


  • Avoid carbonated drinks, alcohol, and caffeine. Caffeine is found in some coffees, teas, and sodas. It is also found in chocolate.
  • Do not eat foods that upset your stomach. These include spicy or acidic foods, such as oranges.
  • Eat small meals more often rather than big meals. An empty stomach may make your symptoms worse.

Quit smoking:

If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking increases your risk of developing ulcers. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have diarrhea or constipation.
  • Your stomach pain does not go away or gets worse after you take medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have a fast heartbeat, fast breathing, or are too dizzy or weak to stand up.
  • You have severe pain in your stomach.
  • Your vomit looks like coffee grounds or has blood in it.
  • Your bowel movements are bloody or black.
  • You have sudden 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.

Further information

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