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What Is The Best Otc Heartburn Medicine

Buying Guide For Best Heartburn Medicines

What’s the Best Medicine for Acid Reflux?

Believe it or not, sometimes we do eat the whole thing. Occasional food indiscretions, especially with spicy or acidic dishes, can lead to a painful but temporary discomfort known as heartburn or acid reflux. For many years, the strongest cures for these ailments were only available by prescription, and often expensive. Fortunately, the FDA has approved a number of advanced heartburn-relief medicines for over-the-counter sales, including some of the best-known brands on the market. Now heartburn relief is available at your nearby drugstore, no prescription required.

If youre looking for a powerful pill-size ally in the fight against heartburn and acid reflux, we at BestReviews have created this shopping guide to walk you through the sometimes challenging process of finding exactly the right medication to meet your particular needs.

Heres what you need to know the next time your favourite pizza or spicy taco decides not to play fair.

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Acid Reflux And Proton Pump Inhibitors

What is acid reflux or GERD?

The stomach makes acid to help you digest food and remove bacteria. This is a natural process. In some people, the stomach makes too much acid, which can cause discomfort. When your stomach makes too much acid, you may have symptoms like:

  • Burning in your chest
  • Regurgitating acid into your throat and mouth
  • Sensing a lump in your throat when swallowing
  • Burping, bloating, or a feeling of fullness in your stomach
  • Hiccups
  • Coughing
  • Chest pains

These symptoms may mean you have acid reflux and heartburn, which can usually be relieved by antacids and no medical treatment. If symptoms become serious and happen more than once a week, it could mean you have gastroesophageal reflux disease . If thats the case, your healthcare provider may suggest changes to your diet and lifestyle.

What lifestyle and diet changes can I try?

For many people, simply changing your diet and lifestyle is enough to relieve symptoms. This may include:

  • Removing foods from your diet that could trigger symptoms of heartburn and/or acid reflux. To name a few:
  • Alcohol
  • Acidic foods
  • Greasy and high fat foods
  • Not eating 2-3 hours before bedtime
  • Finding positions to sleep in that help reduce acid from reaching your throat. Elevating your head and upper body with pillows or a wedge-shaped support pillow can help.
  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight, if needed
  • If diet and lifestyle changes are not enough, your healthcare provider may put you on a type of medicine called proton pump inhibitors .

    What Are Heartburn Medications

    Whats the fuss about the best medicine for heartburn, anyway? There are three types of heartburn medications and these are classified as antacids, H-2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. Antacids, like it was mentioned before, can provide you with quick relief from heartburn as they are formulated to reduce the acid present in the stomach. These dont normally heal any damages dealt with your esophagus so there is a chance that heartburn can occur.

    H-2 blockers for the best medicine for heartburn are created to block the H-2 receptors. You can purchase this over the counter with its effects lasting more compared to antacids. However, the effects may take a while before you can feel it. On the other hand, proton pump inhibitors can actually block the production of acid and can heal the lining of the esophagus too. This may require a prescription from your doctor, so you will get the right dosage.

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    Calcium Carbonate: Best Heartburn Medication For Pregnancy

    Unfortunately, heartburn is a medical issue that bothers many women at a higher incidence during pregnancy. To combat these symptoms, OTC antacids such as Calcium Carbonate tend to be best. TUMS work by neutralizing the acid present within the stomach, which aids in taking away heartburn.

    Doctors often recommend an OTC medication such as TUMS for pregnant individuals because it does not contain magnesium or high sodium levels. Medications with magnesium can interfere with contractions later on in pregnancies, and antacids with high sodium levels can cause a high level of fluid buildup in tissues. TUMS is also a great option because they tend to work instantly. The only downside TUMS presents is that they tend to wear off quickly.

    TUMS typically does not pose any major side effects. The only main side effects associated with TUMS are belching and gas. TUMS is also available OTC at a relatively cheap costâ ranging anywhere from $1.98 at Walmart to $23.68 on Amazon, making this option enticing for pregnant individuals.

    When To See A Doctor

    The Best Heartburn Medicine for 2018

    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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    Our Choice For The Best Heartburn Medications

    When it comes to the best medicine for heartburn, we believe that you should start with Prilosec OTC. This product is one of the most recommended medications for heartburn for more than a decade with its users happy with its effects on their stomach issues. If you have been experiencing heartburn regularly because of the food that you have been eating or because you have been diagnosed with acid reflux or GERD, this may help ease the burning at the chest and throat. With regular use, you will be able to minimize the occurrence of heartburn, so you will feel more comfortable.

    There is no denying that Prilosec OTC is a miracle worker when it comes to alleviating heartburn and other acid indigestion symptoms. All that you have to do is to follow the directions indicated and you will get the best results for your heartburn. Although this is just providing temporary relief, when you mix it with proper diet and even exercise, you will be able to prevent acid reflux and heartburn from occurring regularly. Talk to your doctor about what form of treatment they can refer to you to help you regulate your acid indigestion and heartburn problems using over the counter medications for heartburn.

    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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    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:

    Ppis Can Change The Way Other Drugs Work

    Heartburn Symptoms, Causes and Remedies: Fact vs. Fiction | Prilosec OTC

    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.

    Also Check: Will Apple Cider Vinegar Stop Heartburn

    What Can Trigger Heartburn

    Certain foods and beverages can trigger heartburn in individuals. These include but are not limited to spicy foods, onions, citrus products, chocolate, peppermint, alcohol, and fried foods. Additionally, individuals who are pregnant or overweight may also have a higher risk of experiencing heartburn.

    Omeprazole: Best Otc Heartburn Medication

    Omeprazole, commonly known as Prilosec, is a PPI that reduces the quantity of food-digesting acid made by the cells within the lining of your stomach. In fact, Prilosec was one of the first and strongest PPIs created to combat acid reflux. According to Dr. Ghouri, Prilosec OTC âis usually sufficient in controlling symptoms in a majority of casesâ and has been the #1 Doctor Recommended frequent heartburn relief medicine for 14 years.

    There are various benefits to using Prilosec OTC, most notably the ease of the dosing schedule and the effectiveness in lowering frequent piques of heartburn in individuals. When taking Prilosec OTC, you only have to take one pill per day for 14 days. Although it may take between one to four days to experience the full effect, Prilosec OTC begins to work, and individuals notice relief on the first day of treatment. After the fourteenth day, acid production should grow to be controlled consistently.

    Prilosec OTC prices tend to vary, from being $18.44 on Amazon to $85.90 on Walmart. Despite the slightly higher cost than Pepcid, Prilosec OTC provides long-term relief from heartburn following the 14 days. Similar to Pepcid, the common side effects produced are only a headache and abdominal pain.

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    Types Of Medications Used For Treating Gerd

    • Antacids: This type of medication directly neutralizes gastric acid and provides rapid but temporary relief. Antacids are usually consumed in frequent doses as needed, and most are available over the counter.
    • H2RAs: H2RAs reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach by inhibiting the release of histamine, the principal stimulus for acid secretion in the stomach. Clinical trials evaluating histamine for the treatment of GERD showed only modest benefit over a placebo. Also, several studies have revealed drug tolerance to H2RAs as early as two weeks after beginning therapy. This means that patients experience a reduced reaction to a given dosage relatively quickly after starting to use it.
    • PPIs: PPIs are the most effective medical therapy to treat GERD . PPIs work by blocking the mechanism that produces stomach acid. This lowers the acidity of the digestive fluids involved in reflux, and thus reduces reflux symptoms. PPIs are available in both prescription and over-the-counter strengths.

    While effective at reducing the acidity of digestive fluids in the upper GI tract, research has indicated that PPIs do not address anatomic deficiencies which often are the root cause of abnormal reflux.

    When To See The Doctor

    The Best Heartburn Medicine for 2018

    Let your doctor know how the OTC medicines work for you. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, the doctor may suggest a prescription medicine. If possible, try not to take PPIs long-term. These can increase your risk of certain health conditions, such as osteoporosis, kidney disease, and dementia.

    Tell your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms. They may be signs of a more serious problem.

    • Bloody or black stools.
    • Heartburn that has not improved after 2 weeks of treatment with OTC medicines.
    • Trouble swallowing or pain when you swallow.
    • Unplanned weight loss.

    If you have chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and pain in your arms, you may be having a heart attack. Call 911 or go to the emergency room right away.

    Read Also: How To Stop Heartburn And Acid Reflux

    List Of Prescription Drugs Used For Heartburn Treatment

    Heartburn is a painful burning sensation experienced in the upper stomach or chest area due to the reflux of stomach acid in the esophagus.

    The reflux is triggered usually by poor diet and lifestyle which causes the lower oesophageal sphincter to relax and give way to flow the acid backward.

    Though heartburn is a relatively common disorder and can be treated with simpler drugs, its negligence can lead to the development of a more severe and chronic condition called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease .

  • Summary
  • Which Otc Works Best For Heartburn

    The severity of your GERD symptoms will help to indicate which OTC treatment is best for you.

    Antacids are typically the first-choice treatment for relieving mild heartburn. By neutralizing the acid in your stomach, these drugs can provide relief of the immediate effects of heartburn.

    H2 blockers and PPIs reduce the amount of stomach acid your body produces, so theyre more helpful if youre experiencing heartburn frequently.

    These drugs take longer to start working but can prevent heartburn for

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    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 .

    Side Effects And Precautions For Otc Drugs

    Severe Gerd Treatment – Best Otc Acid Reflux Treatment

    OTC drugs can cause a lot of side effects especially if taken by people who have allergies or a different medical problem at the time of administration of the drug.

    Different types of OTC drugs for heartburn have different side effects.

    For instance, antacids with magnesium may cause diarrhoea, brands with calcium and aluminium may cause constipation and brands with calcium may, though rarely, cause kidney stones.

    Taking large amounts of antacids containing aluminium may increase the risk of calcium erosion from the body and osteoporosis.

    Thus, antacids should be taken in limited amounts and any person with who is pregnant, nursing, with an allergy and with a kidney or heart disorder should consult a doctor before consuming any kind of antacid .

    Side effects of H2 blockers are very rare. The least these drugs can do is cause headache and diarrhoea and rashes .

    Side effects of nizatidine are extremely rare. A doctor should immediately be contacted in case of occurrence of symptoms other than the ones listed above .

    It should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding without a doctorâs prescription.

    Like H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors also did pose much harm and side effects.

    They may cayse dizziness, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, itching and constipation at the most.

    It should not be taken in pregnancy and breastfeeding without consulting with a doctor.

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    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:

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