Medical Management of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
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Antisecretory therapies that raise intragastric pH provide the best healing of the esophageal mucosal damage that occurs in gastroesophageal reflux disease. Continuous maintenance therapy is also effective to reduce the likelihood of recurrence of esophagitis and control symptoms in the long term. Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy is an effective approach for healing esophagitis and controlling symptoms. Endoscopic and surgical treatments may provide an option for patients who are refractory to PPIs in whom reflux has been clearly demonstrated. Long-term antireflux medication is often needed after surgical treatment because of persisting or recurrent pathologic reflux and symptoms. An alternative approach to controlling transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations, such as the GABA-B agonists, deserves further study.
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