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Esophagitis is a condition where there is inflammation and swelling of the esophagus. Esophagitis is caused by stomach acid reflux, fungal or viral infection of the esophagus, certain medications and weakened immune system. If esophagitis is left untreated, it can lead to ulcers and difficulty in swallowing. This can lead to scarring of the esophagus and a situation where food may stick in the area (dysphagia). Often Hiatus Hernia causes Esophagitis since the distension of the stomach through the diaphragm muscle hampers the draining of food and stomach acid. This results in the damage of the esophageal tissue. Candida yeast infection can develop in the esophagus and lead to esophagitis. It attacks when the immune system is weakened and is treated with anti-fungal drugs.

A person suffering from esophagitis has difficulty in swallowing and nausea and vomiting. There are mouth sores. Heartburn involves acid reflux into the esophagus as a burning sensation with a bitter-tasting liquid that may regurgitate into the mouth. A patient can reduce the symptoms of esophagitis by eating smaller meals and avoiding eating for 2 hours before going to bed. Avoid too much spices and acidic food and beverages. Take small bites and chew food thoroughly before swallowing. Place your head at an elevation while sleeping to prevent regurgitation and stomach acid reflux. Smoking, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, peppermint and fatty foods can aggravate the condition.

The physician can view the esophagus with an endoscope to look for scarring and inflammation. A biopsy can be taken for diagnosis. A Barium swallow involves use of a special dye to facilitate x-ray of the esophagus and check for abnormalities. Antacids can help in reducing stomach acid reflux. Medication to improve the strength of the LES muscle can help in treating esophagitis. Antibiotics or anti-fungal drugs may be prescribed to treat the infection. Inflammation can be reduced with the help of Corticosteroid medication. Surgery is resorted to in cases where there is a hiatus hernia or to remove the damaged part of the esophagus.

Contraceptive pill

Birth control pills are oral contraceptives that inhibit the body's fertility level through chemical means. The oral contraceptive contains synthetic hormones that alter the woman's hormonal system so that ovulation is prevented. The birth control pill has been around since the 1960s and is popularly used even today. The modern combination pills are popular on account of the fewer side effects and high success rate. But the birth control pill does not offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or HIV and AIDS.

Estrogen and progesterone are the key hormones that keep a woman's menstrual cycle going. The contraceptive pill contains both these hormones, which go into making a hostile environment for an embryo to develop. Modern pills contain less estrogen than their earlier versions. The birth control pill works as a contraceptive by blocking the release of an egg. While a woman is on birth control pill, the brain no longer signals the ovaries to produce an egg each month. In this way, the contraceptive pill seeks to block ovulation so as to prevent a pregnancy. The cervical mucous becomes thick and unreceptive to sperm thereby making its progress through the fallopian tubes difficult. The endometrium also becomes unreceptive to receive the fertilized egg.

The combined birth control pills contain both the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Combination pills prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. The progesterone-only contraception pills thicken the cervical mucus making it difficult for the sperm to travel. Combination pills are more effective than progesterone only pills. The success rate of birth control pills is about 97 - 99%, if taken correctly. The pill is an easily reversible method of contraception. If the woman is also taking antibiotics such as rifampin or anti-seizure medications, the birth control pill may not be as effective. Some anti-HIV protease inhibitors and anti-fungal oral medication may also affect the efficacy of oral contraceptives.

Antifungal Medicines

Fungal infections could include conditions like athletes foot, jock itch, candidiasis and ringworm. Based on the infection, these drugs are available as over-the-counter or prescription medicines. Most fungal infections are minor and not life-threatening.

Systemic Fungal infection – deep infection

  • Systemic antifungal drugs are medicines that are taken orally or by injection.
  • Infections that occur inside the body or those that do not clear up after treatment with ointment need to be treated with systemic antifungal drugs.
  • These drugs are used to treat fungal infections like candidiasis, blastomycosis, aspergillosis and histoplasmosis.
  • Common list of systemic drugs include Fluconazole (Diflucan), Miconazole (Monistat I.V.) and Ketoconazole (Nizoral).

Topical (Dermatophytic) – superficial infections occurring on the skin

  • Topical antifungal drugs are be applied externally to the skin to treat skin infections caused by a fungus.
  • Creams and liquids are generally the most effective method for treating fungal infections on the skin. They can get into the cracks and crevices where fungi grow.
  • Powders absorb moisture and are good to use in moist areas of the body.
  • Common list of topical drugs include Ciclopirox, Clotrimazole, Econazole, Miconazole and Terconazole. Dosage of antifungal drugs depends on the intensity of the infection and the drug.

Fungal infections might take time to clear up hence take the medicines for the period as prescribed by the doctor. Continue the course of medication even though the symptoms may subside or even disappear. Pregnant women/lactating mothers need to check with the doctor before use of any medicines. Anti fungal medications are also classified based on the chemical structure, pharmacokinetics, tolerability, spectrum of activity, etc.

Allylamines: Group of synthetic antifungal drugs that are used locally and systemically.

Imidazole derivates: Most of the drugs are used in treatment of local or external infections and rarely used for systemic treatments.

Polyene antibiotics: Mostly used for topical treatment, as absorption of the drug is low, it is not used for systemic treatment

Triazole: proven to be more effective and safe during treatment.

Tags: #Esophagitis #Contraceptive pill #Antifungal Medicines
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: May 26, 2024