This concise consultation card was developed by Guidelines for Pharmacy in partnership with Reckitt.
Heartburn is a common complaint, with up to 46% of patients surveyed (n=2000) saying they experience frequent heartburn.1,2 How can you identify customers with frequent heartburn and support them to choose the most appropriate treatment?
This Guidelines for Pharmacy card summarises key professional guidance to help you advise customers and make confident recommendations.
What the guidelines say
“Community pharmacists should offer initial and ongoing help for people with symptoms of dyspepsia. This includes advice about lifestyle changes, using over-the-counter medication, help with prescribed drugs and advice about when to consult a GP.” – NICE3
“Offer people with GORD a full-dose PPI” – NICE3
“If symptoms recur after initial treatment, offer a PPI at the lowest dose possible to control symptoms” – NICE3
GORD=gastro-oesophageal reflux disease; PPI=proton pump inhibitor
Advice and discussion points
Advise on simple lifestyle measures, including healthy eating, weight reduction, smoking cessation, and tracking foods and drinks that trigger symptoms so they can be avoided.3,4
Recommend a PPI, such as 20 mg esomeprazole, for people with frequent heartburn (symptoms twice a week or more for at least 4 weeks).1,3
Explain how long to take the PPI for: 2 weeks then step down to alginates/antacids if needed.5
Refer to GP if symptoms persist despite treatment with a PPI for 2 weeks.5
RECOMMEND GUARDIUM FOR FREQUENT HEARTBURN
What the studies show:
- Esomeprazole (the active ingredient in Guardium) effectively treats frequent heartburn in people receiving one dose per 24 hours over 2 weeks5
- A majority of patients with frequent heartburn said the improvement with esomeprazole was important/extremely important in being able to do everyday tasks.5
- Guardium is a PPI that gets to work in 1 hour to help reduce stomach acid production5
- One pill provides 24 hours’ relief from frequent heartburn[A],5
- Nothing lasts longer than Guardium.[B],5
[A] Full effect may take 2–3 days.
[B] For verification, please write to: PO Box 4044, Slough, SL1 0NS.
- Peura D et al. Postgrad Med. 2007; 126: 33–41.
- Olivieria S et al. Arch Int Med. 1999; 159: 1592–1598.
- NICE. Gasto-oesophageal reflux disease and dyspepsia in adults: investigation and management. Clinical guideline 84. NICE, 2014. Available at: www.nice.org.uk/cg184
- Heartburn Cancer UK. Persistent heartburn.www.heartburncanceruk.org/persistent-heartburn (Accessed 27 August 2021)
- Guardium acid reflux control 20mg gastro-resistant tablets SPC. Accessed August 2021. www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/10345
Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information can be found at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. Adverse events should also be reported to Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare (UK) Ltd on: 0333 200 5345
Date of preparation: September 2021