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Barrett's Esophagus: Treatment

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This information was reviewed and approved by Luette S. Morton, MD (10/1/2012).

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.