A pink painting representing the pink colour of the pink lady

Using compounded medication to treat acid reflux: Pink Lady as an example

This blog will discuss the pink lady medication, a type of prescription medication used to treat severe acid reflux.

The blog will cover topics such as what acid reflux (also called gastritis) is, how severe it could be, how we can treat both the usual and severe acid refluxes, how those medications work, and potential side effects. Then we will explain what the pink lady is and how our compounding pharmacy in Calgary can help in its compounding.

So, what exactly is acid reflux?

Acid reflux is a condition that occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. This can cause heartburn and other problems. Surprisingly, acid reflux can affect adults, kids and even babies!

A person with acid reflux may be able to reduce their symptoms by making changes to their diet. One way to do this is by eating foods that are low in acid. These foods include:

  • Fruits like bananas, melons, and strawberries
  • Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower
  • Grains like oatmeal and rice
  • Meats like skinless chicken and fish

Another way to reduce acid reflux symptoms is by avoiding foods and drinks that trigger acid reflux. Some of these triggers include:

  • Spicy foods
  • Garlic and onions
  • Tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Citrus fruits
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee

Also, you can try to:

  • REDUCE YOUR WEIGHT: Being obese or overweight increases the possibility of having acid reflux. That happens by introducing pressure on the stomach contents, which promotes the stomach acid to go upward into the esophagus. Decreasing your weight would remove the excess fats around the abdomen and relieve the pressure on the stomach contents. Check our blog post about New Year’s resolutions, especially the part talking about exercise, dieting, and weight loss.
  • EAT SLOWLY: Eating slowly can help to avoid swallowing too much air, which can worsen symptoms of acid reflux.
  • STAY HYDRATED: Staying hydrated can help to keep your stomach acid levels in check.
  • TRY A GINGER TEA: Ginger can sometimes help calm the stomach and can help to reduce symptoms of acid reflux.

The question now becomes: what happens if my acid reflux doesn’t respond to all of these precautions and actions?

Normally, the first line of action is to take medications such as:

  • Antacids (could be found over-the-counter and known as Tums and contains calcium carbonate) with gradual strengths. There are also antacids composed of aluminum hydroxide, sodium bicarbonate, or magnesium-based antacids. Generally, antacids work by neutralizing the hydrochloric stomach acid, producing salts, water, and carbon dioxide gas (the burping happening after you take your antacid).

    Antacids could have some side effects, such as stomach cramps, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and other possible side effects.
  • You can also try the histamine H2-receptor antagonists. Those types of medications are normally available over-the-counter such as Ranitidine (the generic medicine) and Zantac (the brand name). It is noteworthy that although Ranitidine is commercially available, sometimes, there are shortages from the manufacturers in its production. In that case, you can get a prescription from a doctor and ask your local compounding pharmacy (for example, Chaparral Pharmacy) to compound it for you.

    For this family of medications, the side effects could be dizziness, headache, and diarrhea.
  • The third thing is to talk to your doctor about taking proton pump inhibitors such as Omeprazole.

Ok. But what if you didn’t improve using all of these techniques, in fact, you are feeling severe pain due to the excessive acid reflux?

After visiting your doctor (and sometimes heartburn could be painful to the degree of attending the emergency!), he/she might prescribe the Pink Lady for you.

Pink Lady medication could be compounded by our compounding pharmacy (located in south east of Calgary, Alberta) to mitigate stubborn, gastrointestinal acid reflux condition (Chaparral Pharmacy)
Pink Lady medication could be compounded by our compounding pharmacy (located in Calgary Southeast, Alberta) to mitigate stubborn gastrointestinal acid reflux conditions (Chaparral Pharmacy)

The Pink Lady’s colour is pink (obviously!) and is composed of two components: an antacid and an anesthetic such as lidocaine. The antacid portion of the Pink Lady will work as described above. The anesthetic part will soothe and decrease the pain in the different gastric areas: the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, and the muscle connecting the stomach and the esophagus. That muscle acts as a non-return valve to hold the stomach enzymes and acids. If this muscle is weak, it could be one of the reasons that cause acid reflux.

Some versions of the Pink Lady may contain anticholinergic agents which also decrease gastric secretions, ease possible spasms in the stomach, and help prevent the patient from the side effects of using the anesthetic (lidocaine).

How can a compounding pharmacy help you?

Pink Lady is not commercially available in Canada and must be prescribed by a doctor, so you have to first get a prescription, then forward it to a compounding pharmacy, and they will make it and deliver it to you if you wish.

Generally speaking, compounded medications can benefit several categories of patients, such as patients with specific needs, seniors, kids, and even pets. Kids can heavily benefit from compounding services, especially, in our current time of chronic shortages of children’s medications (Children’s Tylenol and Advil, for example). Pets can get sick and need customized care, as many people know.

Like all medications, Pink Lady could have some side effects that result from using the antacids, anesthetic, and anticholinergic components, such as:

  • Headache (from the antacids)
  • Diarrhea (from the antacids)
  • Drowsiness (from the anesthetic)
  • Nausea (from the anesthetic)
  • Dry mouth (from the anticholinergics)
  • Constipation (from the anticholinergics)

It is very important to state that it is strongly recommended not to take any food or beverages for thirty minutes at least (if not more and depending on the doctor and the pharmacist’s directions to you) after the administration of the Pink Lady, because the anesthetics may distort your ability to feel the food. Not feeling the food could lead to undesirable and unacceptable outcomes.

If you are in Calgary, Chaparral Pharmacy – Remedy’sRx can help you compound the Pink Lady (and all other customized medications) based on your doctor’s prescription.

Finally, you can check our other various and comprehensive services to determine how our pharmacy can work with you in your journey to health and wellness!

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