This CE activity was originally published in The Rx Consultant. If you received credit for it previously, you cannot receive credit for it again.
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that may radiate toward the neck, throat, and occasionally, the back. It most often results from the reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus. Heartburn is among the most common gastrointestinal complaints, and is a common reason people seek medical care. The worldwide prevalence of reflux symptoms that occur at least once a week is estimated to be 13%, but varies widely among countries. In the US, the prevalence ranges from 6% to 30%. It is higher among individuals who are 50 years or older, those who are smokers, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) and/or aspirin users, and obese individuals.
Heartburn and regurgitation are the typical symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is defined as the effortless movement of stomach contents into the esophagus or mouth, which leads to troublesome symptoms and/or complications. 5 Heartburn is a symptom – GERD is a disease. Heartburn is differentiated from GERD based on symptom frequency and severity, and the impact of symptoms on quality of life. Reduced quality of life is linked with frequent symptoms – especially nocturnal symptoms, which can lead to sleep disturbances that impair next-day functioning.
Men and women are equally affected by GERD, but men are at greater risk of developing complications – mainly erosive esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal cancer. GERD should be managed by a health care provider, as patients may need long-term therapy and ongoing monitoring for complications. In contrast, heartburn can often be managed with appropriate self-care including lifestyle changes and over-the-counter (OTC) medications...
- Pharmacists, Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Registered Nurses
- Nurse Practitioners
This CE activity was developed by The Rx Consultant, a publication of Continuing Education Network, Inc.
CE activities for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians:
This continuing education (CE) activity meets the requirements of all state boards of pharmacy for approved continuing education hours. CE credit is automatically reported to CPE Monitor.
CE activities for Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists:
This continuing education activity meets the requirements of:
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for formally approved continuing education (CE) hours, and CE hours of pharmacotherapeutics.
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) for acceptable, accredited CE.
This is a pharmacotherapeutics/pharmacology CE activity.
Continuing Education Network, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.
Requirements for CE Credit
- Describe heartburn and indicate when self-care with over-the-counter (OTC) medications is appropriate. Recommend lifestyle changes that may help prevent or reduce heartburn.
- Describe the main differences among antacids, histamine-2-receptor antagonists (H2RAs), and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in the treatment of heartburn. Educate patients about the proper administration of each.
- Summarize safety concerns for OTC heartburn medications including potential drug interactions, use in special populations, and the unique concerns with PPI therapy.
Tara R. Whetsel
Brief Bio : Tara R. Whetsel, PharmD, BCACP, BC-ADM is an Associate Professor in the Clinical Pharmacy Department, West Virginia University School of Pharmacy in Morgantown, West Virginia; and a Clinical Pharmacist at the West Virginia University Medicine Cheat Lake Physicians Family Medicine Clinic and the Milan Puskar Health Right Clinic. Dr. Whetsel co-authored the Heartburn and Dyspepsia chapter in the Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs: An Interactive Approach to Self-Care, 2018 (19th ed).
Disclosure : Dr. Whetsel reports no financial relationship with the manufacturer(s) or provider(s) of any commercial product(s) or service(s) that appear in this issue.
The CE Activity developed by The Rx Consultant