Q Dear Dr. V,
Can I take Bye-Lori with my prescription Zantac? Would this combination work any better or faster for my stomach inflammation? I would really appreciate your answer, since I have had stomach problems most of my life.


A Dear GL,
Zantac is referred to as an H2 blocker. Simply put, it helps decrease acid production in the stomach, which can be the culprit in stomach pain. Also, excess acid can exacerbate stomach pain due to various causes. There are several other H2 blockers prescribed by doctors, including Pepcid® and Tagamet®. Some of these medications can be obtained over the counter in lower dosages. This class of medication is the most commonly prescribed for most complaints of stomach distress. Many people's symptoms get better with these drugs, but the side effects include confusion and gynecomastia (enlarged breasts in men), and there can be adverse drug interactions as well.

Whereas Zantac and other H2 blockers work by inhibiting acid production, Bye-Lori works in a different way. It contains an herbal resin called mastic, which has been shown in studies to kill a bacterium (H. pylori) that is known to cause ulcers. The presence of this bacterium is associated with various other gastrointestinal complaints, such as indigestion, heartburn, and bloating. Once H. pylori is eradicated, ulcers heal, symptoms of stomach distress resolve, and healthier digestive function is restored. Mastic is a natural product derived from a tree and is essentially without side effects. It has been used for thousands of years in Mediterranean countries for gastrointestinal health and as a food.

Although there have been no studies on a Bye-Lori/Zantac combination, it is likely that they could be used together without concern. What makes the most sense is to try Bye-Lori first, then add Zantac if you are not getting the results you desire. This might enable you to take less Zantac than you are accustomed to or to decrease the number of days you need to take this drug. I believe it is plausible that in some cases, taking Bye-Lori along with Zantac may help you feel better faster.

If you are under a doctor's care, it is important that you get his or her advice on this matter. Let me know what you decided to do and how it worked for you.

Dr. V

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