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Health & Advice

Proton Pump Inhibitors Explained

How Proton Pump Inhibitors like Guardium work to provide relief from frequent heartburn

Some people experience more frequent heartburn, where over-the-counter treatments such as alginates and antacids have not provided long-lasting relief. This includes constant acid reflux and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). You may also see it referred to as GERD due to the American spelling (and gastro-esophageal reflux disease). In these cases, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) may be right for you.

PPIs work on the source of the stomach acid that’s causing the heartburn, providing relief against persistent gastric reflux. In this article, you’ll find out more about PPIs including Guardium, along with advice on when to speak to your doctor about chronic or severe heartburn symptoms.

Guardium is made by Gaviscon who are the UK’s No.1 heartburn brand* with over 50 years of expertise and experience in providing heartburn relief.

PPIs like Guardium can provide long-lasting relief

Heartburn is caused by gastric acid produced by your stomach. Proton pump inhibitors, also known as PPIs or gastric pump inhibitors, work by reducing the amount of acid in your stomach to help relieve symptoms.

Guardium contains esomeprazole, a PPI that can provide 24 hours of relief from just one pill. It can be taken once a day for up to two weeks.

How PPIs work

Proton pumps are found in our stomach lining. Their role is to pump hydrogen ions from the stomach lining into the stomach to create the gastric acid we need to digest food and kill bacteria.

Like other PPIs, esomeprazole binds to these proton pumps and stops them from pushing hydrogen ions into the stomach. This means the stomach produces less gastric acid. By blocking the proton pumps, esomeprazole acts on stomach acid at the source. This makes the stomach less acidic and less likely to cause heartburn symptoms.

A simple explanation of esomeprazole:

Esomeprazole blocks the acid pumps in your stomach, making it less acidic and therefore reducing heartburn symptoms.

A scientific explanation of esomeprazole: 

Secretion of hydrochloric acid by gastric parietal cells depends on the H+/K+-ATPase (proton pump) which transport hydrogen ions from inside the parietal cells into the stomach where they associate with chloride ions to form hydrochloric acid. Esomeprazole binds to the proton pumps and inhibits these from transporting hydrogen into the stomach, raising the pH of the stomach and causing it to be less acidic.

Find out more about when to use Guardium and how to take it.

Can antacids be used with PPI's?

Guardium can provide long-lasting, 24-hour relief from heartburn symptoms and can be taken once a day for up to two weeks. However, there may be times during these two weeks when you might need some extra help to manage your symptoms.

Because Guardium works by blocking the acid pumps in your stomach and stopping it from producing new acid, it can take up to three days for residual stomach acid to clear and Guardium to reach its full effect. You may also experience an occasional return of symptoms during the maximum two-week treatment period. This is where acid reflux from the stomach can still persist, for example, after eating or lying down.

To help keep your symptoms under control during these times, try Gaviscon Advance. This can be taken alongside Guardium for extra relief when you need it. Gaviscon Advance works by forming a physical barrier on the surface of the stomach contents and is not absorbed into the bloodstream.

Gaviscon Advance can also be used to manage additional symptoms when taking PPIs, or if you experience heartburn when stepping down or reducing your PPI treatment.

Guardium at a glance:

  • One Guardium tablet for 24-hour relief from frequent heartburn
  • Guardium contains esomeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor which works by reducing the amount of acid produced by the
  • Guardium can be taken every day for up to two However, it can take up to three days for Guardium to reach its full effect – taking Gaviscon Advance in the meantime can help you manage symptoms.
  • If you continue to experience any symptoms when taking Guardium or another PPI, or you are stepping down or reducing treatment, Gaviscon Advance can provide extra
  • Guardium is made by Gaviscon, the UK’s No.1 heartburn brand.*


*UK’s No.1 selling heartburn & indigestion brand. Nielsen unit sales data L12W WE 10/08/19
Guardium Acid Reflux Control Tablets for heartburn and acid reflux. Contains Esomeprazole. Always read the label.

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