Anti-ulcer drugs are classified into five distinct groups, namely proton pump inhibitors, H2 receptor blockers, antacids, antibiotics, and different drugs (Holland et al. 520). Each category has an action mechanism.
Proton pump inhibitors work by inhibiting the functionality of pepsin. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme that triggers the release of HCl by the parietal cells, also called proton pump. Usually, a low pH of about 1.5 to 2 causes the release of pepsin, which in turn triggers the release of HCl to raise the pH in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. As a remedy to peptic ulcer, proton pump inhibitors inhibit the release of pepsin; hence, the release of HCl.
H2 receptor blockers function by decreasing the secretion of HCl in the GI tract. They have an active ingredient that targets specific enzymes and receptors that are associated with the secretion of HCl in the stomach. The mechanism works by interfering with chemical reactions such that the rate of secretion of HCl is lowered. H2 receptor blockers reduce HCl secretion up to 70% for over 24 hours after ingestion (Wang et al. 3).
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Antibiotics work by removing H. pylori from the digestive tract. Notably, some cases of peptic ulcers are caused by H. pylori bacterium. In such situations, the bacterium is killed using antibiotics such as Amoxil, Biaxin, Levaquin, and Tindamax (“Peptic Ulcer – Diagnosis And Treatment – Mayo Clinic” Antibiotics). These drugs must be used as prescribed to cure peptic ulcers.
Lastly, antacids cure ulcers by neutralizing acids that corrode the mucosa. In the therapeutic view, antacids counter the pH of HCl secreted in the stomach. Besides, the neutralization reduces the chemical release of pepsin and hence the acid release of more acid. Antacids provide relief to ulcer pains rapidly.
“Peptic Ulcer – Diagnosis And Treatment – Mayo Clinic”. Mayoclinic.Org, 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peptic-ulcer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354229.
Holland, Leland Norman et al. Core Concepts In Pharmacology. 5th ed., Pearson, 2018, p. 520.
Wang, Yao-Kuang et al. “Current Pharmacological Management Of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease”. Gastroenterology Research And Practice, vol 2013, 2013, pp. 1-12. Hindawi Limited, doi:10.1155/2013/983653. Accessed 23 Apr 2020.