a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)

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Week: 586.3 

Guest: Jo Wallin, Pharm. D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacist, Harbor Hospital Ctr. Helix Health Care, Baltimore, MD 

Topic: Antacids 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

INTRO: Acid blockers anyone?...coming up... 

SPOT: 15 years in the prevention of heart disease, stroke and trauma - the National Emergency Medicine Association. Call 800-332-6362 

NEMA: Axid , Zantac, Tagamet , Pepcid. You know what they are, but how do they work? And how are they different? Jo Wallin, clinical pharmacist at Harbor Hospital Center in Baltimore, and says 10% of us have problems with acid each day...  

WALLIN: These medications work by blocking the histamine receptor in the parietal cell in the stomach, to decrease the secretion of hydrochloric acid.  

NEMA: Wallin says the medications are all about the same...  

WALLIN: The only difference is something like Pepcid, which is more potent, also has a longer half-life, so that it’s duration of action in decreasing acid is actually longer than the other medications.  

NEMA: There are more possible drug interactions when using Tagamet, likely because there’s more milligrams of medication per dose. Wallin says you can avoid many acid problems by eating sensibly...  

WALLIN: Things with chocolate or peppermint, alcohol and caffiene... also, eating meals that are fried or spicy...things that are acidic, can cause the symptoms of heartburn and sour stomach that people get. 

NEMA: Wallin says the only danger with the overuse of these medications is if you use them in lieu of getting your acid problem checked out by a doctor. I’m Steve Girard for The Heart of the Matter!