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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Esophageal Spasm: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System

Esophageal Spasm

Alternate Names : Diffuse Esophageal Spasm, DES, Spasm of the Esophagus

Esophageal Spasm | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment for esophageal spasm may include:

  • dilation, a procedure in which instruments of increasing size are inserted through the esophagus
  • nitrate medications, such as nitroglycerin. These medications are the same as those used for chest pain caused by heart problems.
  • calcium channel blockers, including nifedipine and verapamil
  • An individual with a hypersensitive esophagus sometimes improves with low doses of medications normally used for depression, such as imipramine or trazodone.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Nitrates can cause headaches and low blood pressure. Calcium channel blockers can cause nausea, constipation, and other side effects. Antidepressants can cause side effects that depend on the medication used.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    No treatment for esophageal spasm is effective for everyone. Often several approaches will be tried before one works. In many cases, the symptoms will improve, but not go away completely.

    How is the condition monitored?

    The person's symptoms are usually the best guide to how well the treatment for esophageal spasm works. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Esophageal Spasm: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: William M. Boggs, MD
    Reviewer: Eric Berlin, MD
    Date Reviewed: 09/19/01

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