A patient presents with severe abdominal pain. Endoscopy reveals several benign ulcers in the antral mucosa of the stomach. When therapy is started, which will provide the fastest relief of the discomfort with just a single dose? (AIPG 2010)
a. The typical symptoms of acid-peptic disease are caused by acid.
b. Although antacids seem to have no ability to accelerate ulcer healing, they act almost instantaneously to neutralize acid (provided adequate dosages are given), thereby relieving pain and other discomforts that are due to the acid in a matter of a minute or so.
c. All the other drugs can, to varying degrees, suppress gastric acid secretion and ultimately get the patient near or to a “no acid, no pain” state. However, it takes some time (variable, but clearly longer than it takes for an antacid to work) for other medications to be absorbed and reach blood levels sufficient to suppress acid production and then reduce symptoms.