How is GERD managed in patients with asthma?

Updated: Jan 07, 2019
  • Author: Michael J Morris, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

The presence of acid in the distal esophagus, mediated via vagal or other neural reflexes, can significantly increase airway resistance and airway reactivity. Patients with asthma are 3 times more likely to also have GERD. [14] Aggressive antireflux therapy may improve asthma symptoms and pulmonary function in selected patients. Treatment with proton pump inhibitors, antacids, or H2 blockers may improve asthma symptoms or unexplained chronic cough.

The treatment of asthma with agents such as theophylline may lower esophageal sphincter tone and induce GERD symptoms. Some people with asthma have significant gastroesophageal reflux without esophageal symptoms.


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