Medications for Peptic Ulcer Disease

Here are the basics about each of the medicines below. Only common problems with them are listed.

People who have peptic ulcer disease caused by H. pylori infection may need more than one medicine.

Prescription Medicines

Antibiotics

  • Tetracycline
  • Metronidazole
  • Amoxicillin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Levaquin

H-2 Blockers

  • Cimetidine
  • Ranitidine
  • Famotidine
  • Nizatidine

Proton Pump Inhibitors

  • Omeprazole
  • Lansoprazole
  • Pantoprazole
  • Rabeprazole
  • Esomeprazole

Sodium Sucralfate

Misoprostol

Over-the-Counter Medicines

Antacids

  • Gaviscon
  • Di-Gel
  • Mylanta
  • Maalox Advanced Regular Strength
  • Tums

Prescription Medicines

Antibiotics

Common names are:

  • Tetracycline
  • Metronidazole
  • Amoxicillin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Levofloxacin

Antibiotics can clear the bacterial infection.

Problems may be:

  • A new skin rash
  • Puffiness of the face or around the eyes
  • Problems breathing

H-2 Blockers

Common names are:

  • Cimetidine
  • Ranitidine
  • Famotidine
  • Nizatidine

H-2 blockers help decrease stomach acids. They may be given to help with heartburn and indigestion. Some of these drugs have potential drug interactions with other medications, so consult your doctor and pharmacist.

Problems may be:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Common names are:

  • Omeprazole
  • Lansoprazole
  • Pantoprazole
  • Rabeprazole
  • Esomeprazole

Proton pump inhibitors decrease stomach acid. They may be given to help with heartburn, indigestion, and problems swallowing.

Problems may be:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • An increased risk of fractures when taken in high doses or for longer than a year

Sodium Sucralfate

  • Carafate

Sucralfate coats the stomach and the ulcer. It helps protect it from more damage from stomach acid. This can help speed healing.

Misoprostol

  • Cytotec

Misoprostol protects the stomach lining and decreases acid production. This helps peptic ulcers heal more quickly.

Misoprostol should not be taken by women who are pregnant. It can cause a miscarriage.

Problems may be:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea

Over-the-Counter Medicines

Antacids

Common names are:

  • Gaviscon
  • Di-Gel
  • Mylanta
  • Maalox Advanced Regular Strength
  • Tums

Antacids work to lower stomach acid. They can help treat heartburn and indigestion.

Problems may be:

Stop Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will need to be stopped during treatment. These can raise the risk of ulcers and slow healing.

References:

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Dyspepsia and gastro-esophageal reflux disease: Investigation and management of dyspepsia, symptoms suggestive of gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or both. NICE 2014 Sep:CG184.
Peptic ulcer disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/peptic-ulcer-disease. Updated April 2, 2018. Accessed February 3, 2020.
Peptic ulcer disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated January 2020. Accessed February 3, 2020.
Peptic ulcers (stomach ulcers). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/peptic-ulcers-stomach-ulcers/all-content. Updated November 2014. Accessed February 3, 2020.
Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 2/3/2020

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