Barrett's Esophagus: Treatment

Reviewed by Luette S. Morton, MD

The treatment for Barrett’s Esophagus is similar to treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The following treatments may be recommended.


Lifestyle Changes

  • If you are overweight, talk with your health care provider about losing weight.
  • If you smoke, giving up smoking is important. Your health care provider will have ideas to help you quit.

Dietary Measures

  • Limit citrus and tomato products, strong spices, caffeinated drinks, carbonated drinks, fatty foods, chocolate, mint and alcohol to decrease acid exposure of the esophagus.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than three large ones.
  • Avoid food or liquids for 2-3 hours before bedtime.

Physical Measures

  • Elevate the head of the bed 6-8 inches, by placing blocks under the legs of the head of the bed.
  • Avoid bending forward at the waist.
  • Avoid wearing tight fitting clothing.


Medications that may be prescribed to help treat Barrett's Esophagus include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), H2 antagonists and a promotility agent.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) 

Acid-suppressing medicines that are used most commonly for patients with symptomatic GERD

  • Prilosec® (omeprazole)
  • Nexium® (esomeprazole)
  • Prevacid® (lansoprazole)
  • Protonix® (pantoprazole)
  • Aciphex® (rabeprazole)
  • Dexilant C® (dexansprazole

H2 Antagonists

Acid-suppressing medicines that are used to treat mild GERD

  • Tagamet® (cimetadine)
  • Zantac® (ranitidine)
  • Pepcid® (famotidine)
  • Axid® (nizatidine)

Promotility Agent

Medicine that moves the food through the stomach more quickly

  • Reglan® (metoclopramide)



Occasionally, surgery may be recommended to help strengthen the valve between the esophagus and stomach. This is called a fundoplication. If cancer is found, surgery is often recommended to remove the lower portion of the esophagus.



When a person is diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus, regular monitoring is important. Monitoring often includes endoscopy exams with a biopsy. The frequency will vary based on the biopsy results.

Clinical Trials

For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.