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Aciphex®, also sold as the generic drug rabeprazole sodium, is a member of a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors. Like other members of this class, the medication produces a dramatic and enduring reduction in gastric acid, making it of use in the treatment of heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease, laryngopharyngeal reflux, Barrett's esophagus, gastrinoma and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Aciphex® is also used in the prevention of stress gastritis and can also be used alongside multi-antibiotic treatment in curing peptic ulcers. Due to the increased risk of bone fractures associated with extended use of the drug, the United States Food and Drug Administration recommends that no more than three 14 day courses of treatment should be given in a 12 month period, although patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome have at times received continuous treatment for a period of up to one year. The appropriate Aciphex® dosage varies from patient to patient according to age, condition, its severity, and individual variances in the response to the medication.
Patients suffering from ulcerative or erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease may benefit from a four- to eight-week course of treatment with the medication. The recommended adult dosage for this condition is 20 mg given orally once daily after the morning meal. If healing has not been accomplished after eight weeks, the treatment regimen may be extended for another eight weeks. Some physicians recommend that the same 20 mg Aciphex® dosage be used for the maintenance of the condition.
Acute or symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease may also be treated with Aciphex®. As in the ulcerative or erosive forms of the condition, acute or symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux is generally treated with a daily Aciphex® dosage of 20 mg given once daily. The course of treatment generally does not exceed four weeks, although it may be extended after this period if required. Use of the medication in patients under 18 years of age for this condition is controversial, as the US Food and Drug Administration has not yet been determined whether it is safe or effective in this population. Patients above the age of 12 have typically been given the standard adult Aciphex® dosage for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, while the duration of treatment is generally shortened to no more than eight weeks.
When treating duodenal ulcers, the standard recommended adult Aciphex® dosage is a single 20 mg delayed-release tablet given after breakfast every day for up to four weeks. A small percentage of patients may require an extension to the Aciphex® dosage regimen to achieve complete healing of their ulcers. When the medication is used in combination with multiple antibiotic therapy to combat Helicobacter pylori, an increase in dose frequency is required. In addition to a twice daily 1,000 mg dose of amoxicillin and 500 mg dose of clarithromycin during meals, a twice daily dose of Aciphex® should be given for a seven day period. It is essential that the patient complete the entire seven day regimen even if he or she experiences relief from symptoms before then, in order to ensure that the infection does not recur and develop a resistance to the antibiotics used.
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