A duodenal ulcer can result in four to eight weeks of treatment and that is mainly because the infection is caused by a bacterium, commonly H. pylori. Acid suppressing medication can be used to heal the ulcer and antibiotics can help to clear up the bacterial infection at the same time.
While the bacterial infection is the primary cause, there are also anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat arthritis and other inflammations that can lead to the duodenal ulcer.
The duodenum is the upper part of the small intestines, which is where food flows from the stomach. When there are too many acids being produced by the stomach that are not needed for digestion, a duodenal ulcer can form. The lining of the gut is damaged and it can look like a red crater that is considerably inflamed.
An endoscopy will be used by doctors to determine the level of damage to the lining and to document the healing of the ulcer to ensure that it is not cancer. After the diagnosis of the peptic ulcer, the treatment will last approximately eight weeks.
Esomeprazole, which is marketed as Nexium, is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that is used to block acid production in the stomach. This is used within the treatment of a duodenal ulcer to ensure that there is no further acid entering the stomach so that the lining can begin to heal.
When the enzyme responsible for producing stomach acid is blocked, the lining can heal. Esomeprazole has been FDA approved for use with ulcers since February 2001. Depending on the level of damage to the duodenal, the drug can be administered by IV, a capsule, or in an oral suspension.
The drug will be prescribed for GERD (reflux) as well as patients with ulcers. This ensures that the acid is reduced dramatically so that the lining of the upper small intestines can heal.
Without being able to reduce the acid, the acid is going to continue to pour into the small intestines from the stomach. This will result in further irritation of the lining. The lining can literally be eaten away by the acid, making it extremely difficult to digest food without vomiting, internal bleeding and various other issues.
As such, a doctor is going to work on reducing the amount of acid that is produced by the stomach. While there are other drugs on the market for reducing acid production, Esomeprazole or Nexium is very popular because it has been on the market for a number of years and has been proven to have less drug interactions than some other medications. This ensures that there are no other issues due to increasing or decreasing blood levels of another medication that a patient may be on.
Esomeprazole will be effective in reducing acid in the stomach and lower intestine, which allows the body to heal from a duodenal ulcer. Monitoring will be ongoing for several weeks to ensure that the redness and overall irritation is going down so that cancer can be ruled out.