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Medications for Stomach Ulcer (Gastric Ulcer)

What is a Stomach Ulcer?

Stomach ulcers are small holes or erosions that occur in the lining of your stomach. They may also be called gastric ulcers.

Ulcers can also form in your duodenum which is the first part of your small intestine, immediately beyond your stomach. A peptic ulcer is a term used to describe either a stomach or duodenal ulcer.

What Causes a Stomach Ulcer and Who is More at Risk?

Our stomach is lined with a mucus-producing inner layer known as the mucosa. This layer is delicate and its integrity depends on a careful balance of protective factors (such as the production of mucus) and destructive factors (such as acid production).

Disruption of this balance can result in a break in this protective layer, causing a stomach ulcer. Disruptions may occur as a result of:

  • Excessive acid production
  • Excessive alcohol consumption (stimulates acid production)
  • Infection, particularly with a common stomach bacterium known as Helicobacter Pylori
  • Medications NSAIDs  (eg, aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, ketoprofen)
  • Other conditions, such as liver disease, Crohn’s disease, or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Physical stress, such as major surgery or burns.

Although everyday stress (emotional stress) doesn’t appear to cause ulcers, it may make the pain worse.

The risk of getting an ulcer is also increased in people who smoke and coffee has been known to stimulate acid production in the stomach and make ulcers worse. 

What are the Symptoms of a Stomach Ulcer?

Symptoms vary from person to person, and some people may have no symptoms at all. Abdominal pain is common, and that associated with stomach ulcers tends to worsen after food. Other common symptoms include:

  • Bloating or belching
  • Blood in the vomit or stools or dark tarry stools
  • Chest pain
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss.

Symptoms such as vomiting, severe pain or blood in the stools are rare with stomach ulcers and should be reported to your doctor.

Most ulcers occur in the first layer of the inner lining. A hole that goes all the way through is called a perforation and will cause severe pain and bleeding. It is a medical emergency.

How is a Stomach Ulcer Diagnosed?

To help diagnose a stomach ulcer, your doctor will ask you what medications you take or have been taking, and if you have had a peptic ulcer or any other relevant condition in the past. Make sure you mention all the medications you are taking, especially NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, or ketorolac.

Your doctor will also conduct a physical examination, to check for bloating or lumps within your abdomen, and to listen for bowel sounds. Make sure you mention any areas of pain or tenderness.

Blood may also be taken to test for infection or anemia and testing may also be conducted for Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria commonly associated with stomach ulcers. Testing usually involves either a breath test, stool sample, or biopsy. To get a clear picture of the inside of your stomach and small intestines, doctors may use an endoscope (a small thin tube with a camera on the end), a series of X-rays (called an upper GI series) and/or a CT scan.

How is a Stomach Ulcer Treated?

Treatment for stomach ulcers usually involves a combination of medications which reduce acid secretion, protect the mucosa, and kill H. pylori bacteria (if present).

This allows ulcers to heal and reduces the chance of them will come back. All medications should be taken exactly as prescribed.

Examples of medications that may be considered to treat stomach ulcers include:

  • Antibiotics to kill H. pylori (usually two or three different antibiotics are taken in combination for one to two weeks)
  • H2 receptor blockers that reduce stomach acid production (like cimetidine, ranitidine, or famotidine)
  • Proton pump inhibitors to block stomach acid production (such as esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, or pantoprazole)
  • Protectants that coat the ulcer and protect it against acid and enzymes, enhancing healing (like sucralfate)
  • Bismuth (may help protect the lining and kill the bacteria).

Rarely, surgery may be needed.

If NSAIDs have caused your stomach ulcer, your doctor may advise you to stop taking them, reduce their dosage, or switch to an alternative medicine. Follow his/her advice. Talk to your doctor before taking antacids as these may reduce the absorption of some other medications.

How Can I Prevent a Stomach Ulcer From Developing?

  • Don't smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Avoid all NSAIDs, such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Try acetaminophen instead.
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. Avoid late-night snacks or overeating.
  • Reduce stress.

Drugs Used to Treat Stomach Ulcer

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rx / OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol Reviews Rating Popularity
omeprazole C N 17 reviews
4.6

Generic name: omeprazole systemic

Brand name:  Prilosec

Drug class: proton pump inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

pantoprazole B N 27 reviews
6.5

Generic name: pantoprazole systemic

Brand names:  Protonix, Protonix IV

Drug class: proton pump inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Carafate B N 16 reviews
5.9

Generic name: sucralfate systemic

Drug class: miscellaneous GI agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Aciphex B N 3 reviews
10

Generic name: rabeprazole systemic

Drug class: proton pump inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Protonix B N 8 reviews
8.5

Generic name: pantoprazole systemic

Drug class: proton pump inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

ranitidine B N 8 reviews
7.8

Generic name: ranitidine systemic

Brand names:  Zantac 150, Zantac, Deprizine, Berkley and Jensen Acid Reducer Maximum Strength, Careone Acid Reducer, Equaline Heartburn Relief, Sunmark Acid Reducer Maximum Strength …show all

Drug class: H2 antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

sucralfate B N 50 reviews
5.9

Generic name: sucralfate systemic

Brand name:  Carafate

Drug class: miscellaneous GI agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Prilosec C N 1 review
1.0

Generic name: omeprazole systemic

Drug class: proton pump inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Cytotec X N Add review
0.0

Generic name: misoprostol systemic

Drug class: miscellaneous GI agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Pepcid B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: famotidine systemic

Drug class: H2 antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

famotidine B N 2 reviews
9.0

Generic name: famotidine systemic

Brand names:  Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Acid Controller Maximum Strength, Acid Controller Original Strength, Heartburn Relief, Pepcid AC Chewable Tablets, Pepcid Oral Suspension …show all

Drug class: H2 antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Zantac 150 B N 2 reviews
1.0

Generic name: ranitidine systemic

Drug class: H2 antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Pepcid AC B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: famotidine systemic

Drug class: H2 antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Prevacid B N 6 reviews
7.8

Generic name: lansoprazole systemic

Drug class: proton pump inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Zantac B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: ranitidine systemic

Drug class: H2 antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Zegerid C N 4 reviews
10

Generic name: omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate systemic

Drug class: proton pump inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

lansoprazole B N 7 reviews
7.1

Generic name: lansoprazole systemic

Brand names:  Prevacid, Prevacid SoluTab, Prevacid OTC

Drug class: proton pump inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

rabeprazole B N 4 reviews
10

Generic name: rabeprazole systemic

Brand name:  Aciphex

Drug class: proton pump inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate C N 4 reviews
10

Generic name: omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate systemic

Brand name:  Zegerid

Drug class: proton pump inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, Prescribing Information

misoprostol X N Add review
0.0

Generic name: misoprostol systemic

Brand name:  Cytotec

Drug class: miscellaneous GI agents

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Protonix IV B N 2 reviews
10

Generic name: pantoprazole systemic

Drug class: proton pump inhibitors

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Amphojel N N Add review
0.0

Generic name: aluminum hydroxide systemic

Drug class: antacids, phosphate binders

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Deprizine B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: ranitidine systemic

Drug class: H2 antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Tums Regular Strength N N 1 review
9.0

Generic name: calcium carbonate systemic

Drug class: antacids, minerals and electrolytes

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Acid Controller Maximum Strength B N Add review
0.0

Generic name: famotidine systemic

Drug class: H2 antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Topics under Stomach Ulcer

Alternative treatments for Stomach Ulcer

The following products are considered to be alternative treatments or natural remedies for Stomach Ulcer. Their efficacy may not have been scientifically tested to the same degree as the drugs listed in the table above. However there may be historical, cultural or anecdotal evidence linking their use to the treatment of Stomach Ulcer.

Learn more about Stomach Ulcer (Gastric Ulcer)

ICD-10 CM Clinical Codes (External)

Legend

Rx Prescription Only
OTC Over the Counter
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter
Off Label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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