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General Heartburn Information and Related Conditions

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn is a painful condition caused by stomach acid rising up into the oesophagus (gullet or food pipe) and touching the unprotected lining.

What is frequent heartburn?

If you get heartburn two or more times per week.

What’s the difference between heartburn and acid reflux?

When stomach contents flow back up into the oesophagus, this is called acid reflux. Heartburn is the most common name for the burning pain you feel when this happens.

Why does my heartburn get worse at night?

Heartburn is caused by stomach acid rising up into the oesophagus. When you lie down in bed, this can make it easier for acid to escape the stomach and to irritate the oesophagus lining, causing the pain of heartburn.

What are common symptoms of frequent heartburn?

The exact signs of heartburn vary from person to person, but most include burning pain and related discomfort. If you experience heartburn two or more times per week, this is frequent heartburn. People with frequent heartburn are also more likely to experience one or more of the other potential effects listed below.

Physical symptoms

  • A burning pain in the chest area, the back of the throat or throughout the oesophagus.
  • Pain that wakes you up and keeps you from sleeping.
  • A bitter, hot or unpleasant taste or fluid in the back of the throat or mouth.
  • Feeling tired during the day due to night-time waking and pain.
  • Feeling generally unwell or under the weather.

Psychological effects

  • Anxiety and preoccupation about setting off the burning pain again.
  • Irritation or frustration over frequent pain and how it affects your life.
Are there certain foods that cause heartburn?

Not everyone has the same heartburn triggers. Some people find that spicy or acidic food brings on their heartburn, while others have alcohol or fizzy drinks as a trigger. Other possibilities are rich or fatty foods, like chocolate. And simply eating a large meal, or eating too late at night, can be a cause.

Heartburn Treatment

Why does my frequent heartburn come back after I’ve taken an antacid?

Antacids are heartburn treatments designed to give temporary relief from the pain of heartburn. They work by neutralising the stomach acid already produced, but don’t tackle acid production, so they may need to be taken repeatedly to maintain their effect.

What are some lifestyle choices I can make every day to help reduce heartburn?

Reduction of stress which can contribute to reducing heartburn symptoms

Take regular exercise and losing weight can often help. However be mindful that certain exercises such as stomach crunches can push acid out of the stomach causing heartburn

Reducing portion size and avoiding big meals close to laying down / going to sleep.

If you smoke, try to cut down or quit as smoking relaxes the valve at the top of your stomach, allowing excess stomach acid to reflux into your oesophagus.

Nexium Control®

Who should take Nexium Control®?

Frequent heartburn sufferers who are looking for the continuous protection offered by this treatment.

Can Nexium Control® be used by pregnant women?

As a precautionary measure, you should preferably avoid the use of Nexium Control during pregnancy. You should not use this medicine during breast-feeding. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine.

How does Nexium Control® work?

Nexium Control® is a Proton Pump Inhibitor or PPI. PPIs work by reducing the amount of acid produced by your stomach.

What if I miss my dose of Nexium Control®?

If you miss a day, just continue your treatment on the next day.

How should I take Nexium Control®?

Just take one pill each day, ideally first thing in the morning but Nexium Control can be taken at anytime of the day, for up to 14 days.

Does Nexium Control® have any side effects?

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. For information about side effects please read the leaflet.

Does Nexium Control® interfere with digestion?

Nexium Control® should not interfere with your ability to digest food normally. However if you do experience indigestion please consult your doctor.