Magazine article Drug Topics

Tummy Tips: Digestive Precautions for the Holidays

Magazine article Drug Topics

Tummy Tips: Digestive Precautions for the Holidays

Article excerpt

OTC

The end of the year brings rounds of holiday celebrations that can sorely tax partygoers' good intentions - and digestions. For those who have a tendency to overindulge, it's a good time to consider some products to keep on hand for the night before or the morning after.

Heartburn, gastric reflux

Symptom relief is a good place to start. For frequent heartburn sufferers who haven't heard, Nexium went OTC this year and is now available under the name Nexium 24HR. The extremely popular proton pump inhibitor-its active ingredient is esomeprazole 20 mg - from AstraZeneca is being marketed by Pfizer, which has exclusive global rights. Ffere is some intriguing Nexium math, found at the Nexium website: "Nexium 24HR may take 1-4 days for full effect, which is 24 hours of complete relief from frequent heartburn.'' Don't try to decode this. The website also states that "Nexium 24HR has been shown to treat frequent heartbum for up to 24 hours when taken once each morning before eating for 14 consecutive days." Incidentally, patients should not take this product for more than 14 days, or more often than every four months, unless a doctor tells them to. For patients who ask the difference between Rx Nexium and OTC Nexium24, according to the manufacturer it is a matter of indications and directions for use; in the case of esomeprazole 20 mg, the drug and the dosage are identical. Other dosages and formulations remain available by prescription only, (www.nexium24hr.com/us)

Flatulence

As our theoretical case of unbridled gourmandise moves from excess to distress, one symptom of crabby tummy might turn out to be flatulence. Relief is at hand, in the form of Phazyme Anti-Gas soft gels, a product of C.B. Fleet Co., available in strengths of 180 mg and 250 mg. Calling the latter formulation "the first increased-strength anti-gas product in over 15 years," the company states that Maximum Strength Phazyme's 250 mg of simethicone qualify it as "the strongest dose available without a prescription to relieve the bloating, discomfort, and pressure from gas." The single-dose soft gels are easy to swallow and go to work in minutes, (www.phazyme.com)

For simethicone fans who want to play the field, Boehringer Ingelheim offers DulcoGas Maximum Strength Chewable Tablets (125 mg), available in three flavors: Wild Berry, Tangy Citrus, and Sabor Tropical. The product starts working in minutes to provide "dependable relief from discomfort, bloating and pressure ... from gas that may accompany constipation or result from eating certain foods." (www.dulcolax.com)

Constipation

This brings us to another unfortunate consequence of holiday excess: consumption of so much - or so much of the wrong sort of thing - that the hardworking digestive enterprise simply lays down its tools in protest and grinds to a halt. As all post-surgical patients know, constipation is notable for knocking thoughts of anything nonconstipatory entirely out of one's head.

No visit to the Dulcolax armamentarium is complete without a look at the other weapons it offers to those seeking to fight the good fight, including DulcoLax and (for women) DulcoLax Pink Laxative Tablets (active ingredient bisacodyl USP 5 mg), Dulcolax Stool Softener and (for women) DulcoEase Pink liquid gels (active ingredient, docusate sodium 100 mg), and Dulcolax Laxative Suppositories (active ingredient, bisacodyl USP 10 mg), with or without DulcoGlide Applicators, (www. …

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