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AcipHex blocks acid production in the stomach. It is prescribed for the short-term (4 to 8 weeks) treatment of sores and inflammation in the upper digestive canal (esophagus). This condition, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is caused by the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus over a prolonged period of time. Because GERD can be chronic, your doctor may continue to prescribe AcipHex to prevent a relapse after your initial course of treatment and to relieve symptoms of GERD such as heartburn.
AcipHex can also be prescribed for the short-term (up to 4 weeks) treatment of duodenal ulcers (ulcers that form just outside the stomach at the top of the small intestine), and for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a disease which causes the stomach to produce too much acid. The drug is classified as a “proton pump inhibitor.” It works by blocking a specific enzyme essential to the production of stomach acid. It begins reducing acid within an hour of administration.
AcipHex will work even if your symptoms are caused by a serious condition such as stomach cancer. For that reason, doctors are warned to rule out cancer whenever prescribing AcipHex.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking AcipHex. Headache is the most common side effect of AcipHex, occurring in two people out of 100.