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Over The Counter Heartburn Meds

Popular Over The Counter Drugs For Heartburn Treatment

FDA: Probable carcinogen in OTC heartburn drug

Heartburn is a painful burning sensation experienced in the chest due to reflux of acid and other stomach contents into the oesophagus.

It is usually triggered by poor diet and lifestyle, which decrease the pressure of lower oesophageal sphincter causing it to relax and give way for the acid to flow back up.

Heartburn is a relatively common disorder and can be treated with simple medications. However, its negligence can lead to the development of chronic and more problem-some disorder called gastro oesophageal reflux disease.

  • Summary
  • Side Effects And Precautions

    There are different side effects and precautions for each drug which are indicated by the doctor. Possible side effects of H2 receptor antagonists include headache, constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting.

    Proton pump inhibitors can also have the same set of side effects including upset stomach and abdominal pain. PPIs may also increase the chances of getting an infection in intestines and for making the bones fragile.

    These side effects, however, are very rare. Promotility agents may have major rare but major side effects and any appearance of unusual symptoms on their consumption should be reported immediately.

    Precautions of heartburn drugs are indicated specifically by the doctor and should be strictly followed.

    The doctor should be told about every past or present medical condition including pregnancy and breastfeeding before taking the prescription.

    If a dose is missed, it should not be replaced by two doses at the same time or taking the tablet at an odd time .

    Treating Heartburn And Gastro

    Heartburn is a feeling of burning pain in your lower chest, behind the breastbone. It comes from acid backing up from your stomach to your throat. You may have seen ads on American channels for heartburn drugs, such as pantoprazole , omeprazole , esomeprazole or lansoprazole . These drugs are called PPIs . They keep the stomach from making too much acid.

    In most cases, you dont need a PPI for heartburn. You can get relief from a less powerful drug. And when you do need a PPI, you should take the lowest dose for as short a time as possible. Heres why:

    Do you need a PPI?

    PPIs are powerful drugs. Studies suggest that more than half of the people who take PPIs probably do not need them. Simple heartburn can be relieved with antacids or other less powerful drugs.

    • Do you have heartburn every now and thenafter a big, spicy meal, for example? This kind of heartburn is uncomfortable, but it is not serious. You dont need a PPI. You can usually get relief from an antacid, like Rolaids or Tums, or an H2 blocker, such as Pepcid AC or Zantac.
    • Have you had heartburn more than twice a week for several weeks? Then you may have GERD . This is when acid made in the stomach backs up into your throat. Over time, it damages the lining of your esophagus . If your health care provider thinks you have GERD, you may need a PPI.

    PPIs have risks.

    If you need a PPI, taking a low dose for less than a year is probably safe. But taking a PPI for a year or longer has been linked to:

    Recommended Reading: How Do I Know If I Have Heartburn

    How To Use Pepcid Complete

    Chew one tablet completely and swallow as needed to stop/prevent the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion, or take as directed by your doctor. Do not swallow the tablets whole.

    Do not take more than 2 tablets within 24 hours. Follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

    This product contains an antacid which may react with other medications, preventing them from being fully absorbed by your body. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to schedule your medications to prevent this problem.

    Stop taking this medication and call your doctor promptly if your symptoms continue after you begin taking it, or if they do not improve after you have been taking this medication for 14 days in a row. Do not take this medicine for more than 14 days in a row without talking with your doctor.

    Gerd Medications: Over The Counter And Prescription

    OTC Medications for Acid Reflux &  Heartburn

    Therapy though medicines may be the most appropriate next step for the treatment of GERD, if diet and lifestyle changes alone do not resolve symptoms. For many patients, treatment with medicines will reduce heartburn and reflux symptoms. Patients with more severe symptoms may only experience partial symptom control through medicines.

    Acid suppression is the main function of GERD medical therapy. Three types of medicines are commonly used to treat GERD: antacids, h2-receptors and proton pump inhibitors . Some drugs are available as over the counter medications and others are available by prescription only. PPIs are the most commonly used drug to treat GERD symptoms and to heal esophagitis.

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    How Do Antacids Work

    Antacid medications work by neutralizing your stomach acid. When this stomach acid is no longer acidic, it does not irritate the esophagus. Antacids offer quick relief, as they begin working as soon as they come into contact with your stomach acid. However, the relief provided by the antacid is also temporary. Although they neutralize acid already present in the stomach, they do not slow or stop the production of additional stomach acid1.

    Pepcid Complete® is currently the only over-the-counter medication available in Canada that contains an antacid along with an H2 blocker. This combination provides the fast heartburn relief associated with antacids, as well as the lasting heartburn relief associated with H2-blockers.

    Buying Information For Heartburn Medicine

    Because there isnt anything blocking the path between your esophagus and stomach, its easy for acid to push back upwards if you overload your system with the wrong food. For some people, heartburn happens as a one-time thing that needs immediate response. For others, its a chronic problem that requires maintenance medication.

    Figuring out what your situation calls for and then choosing a medication based on that will help you land the right choice. Consider these three factors to determine which option would be the best heartburn medicine for you.

    • Quick Acting or Delayed Release. Heartburn medication comes in two major forms quick acting or delayed release. If for example, you consumed more coffee than your system can deal with, youre likely to develop an acute form of heartburn. This will require a fast-acting immediate release medication for timely resolution of your current situation.

    If youve already developed a condition that causes heartburn, such as acid reflux, its possible that you already know when to expect the next episode. By anticipating the problem, you can take in delayed release medication that will only provide results a few hours later. This in turn, will allow you to enjoy your meal without having to fear about the upcoming heartburn.

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    What Should I Do If I Forget A Dose

    If you forget a dose of prescription famotidine, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

    Over-the-counter famotidine is usually taken as needed. If your doctor has told you to take over-the-counter famotidine regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

    How Do Proton Pump Inhibitors Work

    OTC Heartburn Medication is Sold Alongside Sausages in America

    Proton pump inhibitors, which may also be called “PPIs,” are also reduce the amount of acid found in your stomach. However, instead of acting on histamine 2 receptors, these medications shut down the pumps responsible for the production and secretion of acid into the stomach. Unlike antacids and H2 blockers, PPIs are not fast-acting. In fact, they can take one to four days to feel the full effects of a PPI. Once they do take effect, PPIs are long lasting, providing relief from heartburn for 24 hours. PPIs are intended to be used only by those experiencing frequent heartburn . They have a strict dosing regimen and must be taken every day in order to be effective at treating frequent heartburn.

    You should only take over-the-counter PPIs for 14 days at a time. After taking this medication for 14 days, you should wait four months before taking an over-the-counter PPI again7.

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    Treating Heartburn And Gerd

    Heartburn is a feeling of burning pain in your lower chest, behind the breastbone. It comes from acid backing up from your stomach to your throat. You may have seen ads for heartburn drugs, such as Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid. These drugs are called PPIs . They keep the stomach from making too much acid. They have been shown to heal irritation of the tube between the throat and the stomach .

    In most cases, you dont need a PPI for heartburn. You can get relief from a less powerful drug. And when you do need a PPI, you should take the lowest dose for as short a time as possible. Heres why:

    Silicol Gel For Heartburn And Indigestion

    Silicol gel contains silicic acid which, despite its name is a bland, non-acidic, mineral substance containing silicon and oxygen in a colloidal, hydrated form. Just a small amount of this dispersible gel creates a protective lining in the stomach and intestine. The gel acts as a magnet physically binding with substances which cause inflammation, and renders them harmless to pass through the digestive tract. It also provides a physical barrier to soothe heartburn and indigestion.

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    Types Of Prescription Drugs Used For Heartburn Treatment

    There are a number of drugs prescribed by the doctors to treat heartburn. The chemical composition for them is generally common in most of them, what differs is their label which is different according to the brand.

    Most common prescription drugs fall into two types namely histamine type 2 receptor blockers/antagonists, proton pump inhibitors and pro-motility agents.

    Heartburn Medicine Factors To Consider

    Which OTC Meds Treat Heartburn?

    When shopping for a new heartburn medicine, there are a number of important factors to consider. Some consumers might only need short-term relief from occasionally eating trigger foods. Others might need a longer-term treatment for chronic acid reflux, GERD, or a sensitive stomach. It isnt unusual to experiment with different types of heartburn medicines in order to find the one that brings the most reliable relief. Here are some important factors to consider while looking:

    Relief onset time: While traditional antacid brands offer relief in seconds or minutes, H2RAs and PPIs generally take hours or even days. This delay isnt necessarily a bad thing since these medicines provide longer-term relief. When comparing H2RAs and PPIs, keep in mind that H2RAs usually have a faster onset time, but the effects of PPIs last longer. If faster relief of an occasional bout of heartburn is the goal, try an H2RA first. For more frequent acid reflux, a PPI might be more appropriate.

    Mechanism: Different types of heartburn medicine use different mechanisms to address the same basic problem. Antacids chemically neutralize stomach acids but dont affect acid production. H2RAs enter the bloodstream and block acid production. PPIs actually shut down acid production. Consumers should consider the severity and frequency of their heartburn symptoms and shop accordingly.

    Also Check: Best Way To Fix Heartburn

    Why Heartburn Medication

    We, by no means, were the first to discover a link between heartburn medications and potential COVID treatments, study author Cameron Mura, PhD, a senior scientist in the School of Data Science and department of biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia, tells Verywell.

    A 2020 study showed that famotidine was associated with improved outcomes for non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. However, another study that was published around the same time found the opposite, concluding that famotidine was associated with a higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease.

    We were intrigued that various reportsall clinical, patient-basedthat had amassed in the literature over the past year started to paint a somewhat confusing picture, Mura says. Some reports found a beneficial association between famotidine and COVID, while others were less positive. This riddle, along with some initial statistical data wed accumulated on a positive impact of famotidine in COVID, spurred us to look more closely at heartburn medications.

    The researchers used data from the COVID-19 Research Network, which allowed them to review the electronic health records of COVID patients from 30 countries, including a diverse pool of participants.

    Talk With Your Doctor

    If you have GERD symptoms and arent sure what kind of medication to take, talk with your doctor. They can confirm whether you have GERD and develop a treatment plan that will work for you.

    Frequent, severe symptoms may be a sign of a more serious problem. And they could get worse over time if left untreated.

    Be sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have. These might include:

    • What lifestyle changes could reduce my symptoms?
    • Which kind of OTC medication would be best for me?
    • Would a prescription GERD medication work better for me?
    • Am I taking any medications that might interact with an OTC medication?
    • How and when should I take my GERD medication?

    Changes in your daily habits may help reduce GERD symptoms. Your doctor can suggest changes that might work for you, such as:

    • losing weight

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    Zegerid Otc Capsules 42

    Its combination of effectiveness, affordability, and accessibility has made Zegrid OTC Capsules one of the best heartburn medicine options available today. Using omeprazole as its main active ingredient, this medication works to eliminate both acute ongoing heartburn cases and chronic acid reflux situations.

    What many users truly appreciate about this product is the fact that it offers 24-hour relief against heartburn. This is particularly ideal because a person may experience heartburn again later in the day if they have an episode earlier in the morning.

    If you have acid reflux, this product may also be a good choice. Offering 24-hour results and relief, you can take one tablet in the morning to prevent frequent heartburn. This works much better for those with chronic acid reflux problems because it eliminates the need to take one pill before each meal.

    While its not the cheapest option on the market, Zegrid is the best heartburn medication because a single dose can provide relief and prevention for a whole day. This is what makes it both the best acid reflux medicine and an ideal solution for acute heartburn all in one.

    Treating Heartburn Symptoms Over The Counter

    Suffering from Acid Reflux and the Truth about PPI Medication

    Although lifestyle can help ease heartburn symptoms, many people with recurrent acid reflux will still need medications to ease their discomfort. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for over-the-counter heartburn medicine.

    “There are a couple of different kinds of heartburn medicine to consider,” says Weart. “Most people with heartburn choose antacids first, which are quick to take effect, but short-acting. That means if you take an antacid in the middle of the night, you may wake up again a couple of hours later with recurrent heartburn. H2 receptor blockers are much more effective in the long run.”

    Isn’t there something that offers the fast relief of the antacid, and the long-lasting benefit of the H2 blockers? In fact, there is. “Some heartburn medicines combine antacids with the H2 blockers,” says Weart. “These drugs, like Pepcid Complete, offer a fixed combination of the two medications. Or you can do the same thing by taking your favorite antacid with an H2 receptor blocker.”

    You can also plan ahead to avoid heartburn. If you’re going out for a big meal as a treat, and know you might be eating some foods you shouldn’t, take your heartburn medicine early. “Take an H2 blocker about an hour or two before the meal, and it will kick in and suppress the acid that’s causing heartburn symptoms before they start,” says Weart.

    Read Also: Is Acid Reflux The Same As Heartburn

    You May Not Need A Ppi

    More than half of the people who take PPIs probably do not need them. Simple heartburn can be treated with antacids or other drugs, plus diet and lifestyle changes.

    You may only have heartburn every now and thensuch as after a big, spicy meal. This may be uncomfortable, but it is not serious. You can usually get relief from an antacid, like Rolaids or Tums, or an H2 blocker, such as Pepcid AC or Zantac.

    Ppis Can Change The Way Other Drugs Work

    PPIs interact with some common prescription drugs. For example, some PPIs can reduce the blood-thinning effect of the drug Plavix , according to the US Food and Drug Administration. This can increase the risk of heart attack and even death. If you take Plavix, talk to your doctor about whether you should take a PPI.

    Recommended Reading: Best Over The Counter Medicine For Heartburn Acid Reflux

    When To See A Doctor

    Treating heartburn involves more than just popping a pill or munching on a fistful of antacids. These medications work in tandem with lifestyle changes such as cutting out caffeine consuming smaller, more frequent meals quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol, a known heartburn trigger. Other tips that may help extinguish heartburn include not eating after 7 p.m. and propping your head up while you sleep. “You can’t expect a pill to work if you are drinking eight cups of coffee and smoking two packs a day,” Dr. Chutkan says.

    Caffeine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, a circular muscle that creates a valve between the esophagus and the stomach. Think of the muscle as a door. “When the door is shut, no acid comes back up. But when the door opens, the acid backs up from stomach to food pipe,” Dr. Cappell says. “Caffeine, smoking, and alcohol all tend to make reflux more severe, and they may act by opening this door.”

    “If you have classic acid reflux or heartburn such as a pain in chest with frequent burping or nausea, it’s OK to try over-the-counter remediesespecially if it occurs after a large, fatty meal or late at night,” Dr. Chutkan says. Steer clear of the over-the-counter aisle and head straight to your doctor if you have any of these red flags: pain or difficulty swallowing, vomiting, unexplained weight loss, or persistent abdominal pain, she says.

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