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Steve asked...

I suffer with indigestion at night.

Tags: digestion

I'm a 57 year old male. I've been given lansoprazole 30mg once per day by my doctor after I complained about indigestion and bloating (not heartburn) every night between 3.00am and 4.00am.

I do not have symptoms at any other time. Isn't this just treating the symptoms not the cause? What tests could I be having to identify the root cause? I've been on Lansoprazole for three months with no improvement. Advice appreciated. Thank you.

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The answer

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the use of lansoprazole for treating your indigestion and bloating complaints. Although I have limited information about your personal medical case and it would therefore be inappropriate to attempt a diagnosis, from the two symptoms you have described (indigestion and bloating, highlighting that there is no reflux involved), it is possible that you are suffering from what is known as dyspepsia. Dyspepsia is also known as indigestion or heartburn, and is often a frequent but ill-defined disorder primarily associated with epigastric discomfort or pain, accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, fullness or belching.

You may be aware that there are several lifestyle recommendations that are advocated to patients suffering with dyspepsia, they may or may not be directly applicable to yourself. Such lifestyle measures include: avoiding alcohol, caffeine, smoking and aggravating foods and to eat small, regular meals to aid digestion.

Alongside lifestyle modifications, drug treatment is often initiated and in your case, lansoprazole. Lansoprazole belongs to a family called proton-pump inhibitors. It inhibits the final stage of gastric acid formation by inhibiting the activity of the acid-secreting pump (H+/K+ ATPase) found in the acid-secreting cells in the stomach.

The treatment you have received so far is concurrent with UK national prescribing guidance i.e. lansoprazole 30mg once a day is a recommended dose for dyspepsia symptoms not investigated by endoscopy. Treatment with a proton pump inhibitor in uninvestigated dyspepsia is recommended for four weeks. It follows on to state that patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia who do not respond to this initial trial should return for a follow-up for further testing.

So in summary, with respect to your presenting symptoms and initial drug treatment, this has followed standard protocol, but as you have exceeded the four-week initiation and have now suffered for three-months without any improvement, it would be best practice to return to your GP for further investigation. If you want to discuss this matter further then please do not hesitate to call us here at Health at Hand on 0800 003 004 and choose option 1.

Answered by Health at Hand nurses.

 

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