What Is The Best Heartburn Medication
ByCharles K. Moore | Submitted On April 08, 2010
Different Types of Medication for Heartburn
If you have ever suffered from heartburn, then you know that the pain can be so intense that you would give practically anything just to have the best heartburn medication within reach. Unfortunately, finding the best heartburn treatment isn’t always as easy as you would want it to be. In fact, the number of choices is so immense that it usually takes some time before a person is able to find the treatment that works best for them personally. To help you get started, here are some of the best heartburn medications available today.
There are many reasons why people turn to antacids to stop heartburn, the most obvious of which is that it is readily available in any pharmacy. You don’t need a doctor’s prescription for these medications. Furthermore, antacids are also mild enough for most people, and they don’t come with many of the side effects that are commonly associated with other prescription heartburn medications.
Proton Pump Inhibitors
Hailed by many as the best heartburn medication out there, proton pump inhibitors work by regulating the production of acids in your stomach, reducing the risk of them flowing back up into the esophagus. Proton pump inhibitors are not only good for treating active heartburn cases, but they are also great for preventing further occurrences of the condition.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain laboratory tests before and during your treatment, especially if you have severe diarrhea.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking omeprazole.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. If you are taking prescription omeprazole, ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
What Are The Precautions Of Heartburn Medications
Now that you have an idea of the numerous benefits to be gained when taking the best medicine for heartburn, youre most likely eager to get one for your needs. However, before you do splurge on heartburn medications, so you will be able to combat acid reflux and indigestion, there are some precautions that you need to take note of. For starters, these heartburn treatments cannot be used to treat GERD. They simply provide immediate relief especially those who experience mild cases of heartburn.
Another precaution to consider when it comes to taking the best medicine for heartburn is that it cannot control regurgitation even when this medication is designed to suppress acid formation. This means that you will still likely taste bile at the back of your throat when stomach material goes up. You should also keep in mind that taking heartburn medications can lead to side effects when taken regularly so this is something that you want to keep in mind. It is important that you discuss this with your doctor first if ever you experience signs and symptoms of acid reflux. Your doctor will be able to advise you on what type of heartburn medication to try based on the symptoms that you are exhibiting.
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Maalox: Best Heartburn Medication For Immediate Relief
Maalox is an antacid used for very fast-acting relief from heartburn. In Maalox, Simethicone is used to help destroy gas bubbles within the gut, and aluminum and magnesium work to reduce acid levels in the stomach. This form of heartburn medication only works on existing stomach acid.
Maalox usually works within five minutes of consumption. However, the catch is that it will only work for 30 minutes to 60 minutes at the most. Thus, if you continue to experience symptoms for up to two weeks following your initial date of taking Maalox, you may need a stronger heartburn medication.
Typically, Maalox should be taken after meals or around bedtime. The most common side effects of Maalox include constipation and diarrhea. If these side effects persist for over two weeks, though, you may consider contacting a physician.
Soothe Your Stomach With Aloe Juice
Aloe is a plant used to soothe burns, and people often think of using it to help something like sunburn, but it can do more than that. It may be able to help with heartburn too because it reduces inflammation. This means when your tummy starts getting irritated and inflamed, or your esophagus is getting eaten away at, a nice glass of aloe vera juice may be just the thing to help calm it down.
You will need-1/2 cup aloe vera juice
DirectionsDrink a ½ cup of aloe juice, cool or room temperature, before meals. Keep in mind that aloe can act as a laxative, so unless youre looking to fit in a few extra bathroom Sudoku puzzles, look for a brand that has the laxative component removed.
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How Do Proton Pump Inhibitors Work
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.
Avoid Metoclopramide And Alcohol
Occasionally, a patient may receive a prescription for metoclopramide, a gut motility stimulator, to treat heartburn. This is considered off-label use, meaning that while metoclopramide isnt an FDA-approved treatment for heartburn it is OK for your doctor to prescribe it to mitigate the condition. If you are taking metoclopramide for heartburn or any other condition, you should avoid alcohol because it can enhance the alcohol effects of central nervous system depression , says Dr. Alvarado.
These agents have potential to cause side effects that would be undesirable when using alcohol, she says.
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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.
Elevate Your Upper Body
Lying down can make heartburn worse. When it comes time for bed, adjust your sleeping surface to raise your upper body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lifting your head with extra pillows isnt usually enough. Instead, the goal is to elevate your body from the waist up.
If you have an adjustable bed, set it at a suitable angle to provide relief. If your bed isnt adjustable, you can change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow.
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Switching From Ppi To H2 Blocker:
Switching from one drug to another requires proper supervision of a doctor or a nurse. If not properly supervised it can harm patients health.
Cimetidine and famotidine are the most prescribed h2 blockers. These are second in line treatment medications for acid reflux. If PPIs such as omeprazole fail to cure acid reflux, then the doctor will advise you to shift to taking h2 blockers.
Sometimes in severe cases of GERD, doctors prescribe a combination of both h2 blockers and PPI, but this is rare.
Before taking H2 blockers make sure you have taken advice from the doctor. Do not change medication yourself or it can result in serious side effects. Even a sudden shift of medication can case backlash side effects, which could be fatal for the patient.
Sodium Bicarbonate: Most Affordable Heartburn Medication
Sodium Bicarbonate is an OTC medication that assists with neutralizing the levels of acid in your stomach due to its alkaline pH properties, which can help relieve heartburn. In particular, though, Sodium Bicarbonate is the cheapest antacid available, costing only $3.34 on the GoodRx site. This price is 59% off the retail price of sodium Bicarbonate, which is $8.16.
Through this low cost, individuals who suffer from heartburn can seek medical help at an affordable price. However, individuals who use Sodium Bicarbonate to help with heartburn should use it with care. Typically, doctors recommend only using it when symptoms first appear temporarily. This is because other issues could harm the body if the body becomes too alkaline.
The most common side effects of Sodium Bicarbonate include gas, bloating, cramps, and increased thirst. Doctors advise that children the age of six should only use Sodium Bicarbonate as a medication if prescribed.
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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.
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.
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Omeprazole May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:
- severe diarrhea with watery stools, stomach pain, or fever that does not go away
- rash on cheeks or arms that is sensitive to sunlight
- increased or decreased urination, blood in urine, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, fever, rash, or joint pain
People who take proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole may be more likely to fracture their wrists, hips, or spine than people who do not take one of these medications. People who take proton pump inhibitors may also develop fundic gland polyps . These risks are highest in people who take high doses of one of these medications or take them for one year or longer. Talk to your doctor about the risk of taking omeprazole.
Omeprazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
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 .
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How And When To Take Antacids
Check the instructions on the packet or leaflet to see how much antacid to take and how often. This depends on the exact medicine you’re taking.
Antacids should be used when you have symptoms or think you will get them soon for most people, the best time to take them is with or soon after meals, and just before going to bed.
Remember that doses for children may be lower than for adults.
Contact a GP or pharmacist, or call NHS 111, if you take too much of the medicine and start to feel unwell.
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:
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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.
Mylicon: Best Heartburn Medication For Children
Unlike the other medications, mylicon is actually an anti-foaming agent that can act as an antacid for children ages 2-11. Mylicon has an active ingredient, Simethicone, that gently breaks up gas bubbles in the stomach. Additionally, it contains Calcium Carbonate, which is an antacid.
Mylicon was specifically designed to soothe discomfort from gas, acid, indigestion, overeating, and bloating. It is a fast-acting medication you can pick up OTC and typically costs only $11 for 15 milliliters. For most children, Mylicon starts working in just minutes following consumption.
The only potential side effect of Mylicon is loose stools. However, only use Mylicon for your child as directed and no more than 12 times per day. See below for the suggested doses of Mylicon to give your child.
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How What And When
Watch how you eat: Dont inhale giant mouthfuls of food. Take smaller bites and eat slowly, allowing your stomach time to digest and without giving it an excuse to pump out excess acid.
Watch what you eat: Youre probably aware that specific foods trigger heartburn, usually foods high in acid or spicy foods. Avoid these as best you can to ward off
Watch when you eat: Dont eat within 3-4 hours before bed. Lying down puts more pressure on your LES and increases the likelihood of acid sneaking through.
Soothe Indigestion And Bloating With Over
Sarah is a freelance writer with a focus on health and wellness. She has written for publications like Women’s Health, Healthline, and Parents. She taught creative writing for five years, and has a bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University.
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When heartburn or acid indigestion strikes, you need something that settles your stomach ASAP. Its no fun to walk around feeling like you have your own personal fire-breathing dragon raging in your esophagus, and its even less fun to battle the burn while trying to work, exercise, drive through rush hour traffic, or sleep.
If youre prone to bouts of GI distress, its smart to have a reliable over-the-counter antacid on hand that can provide quick relief. Why? Because these medications can decrease the amount of stomach acid you produce, says University of Missouri Health Care gastroenterologist Yezaz Ghouri, MD.
The stomach normally produces hydrochloric acid to help digest food and kill bacteria or other organisms that may have been ingested along with the food, Dr. Ghouri explains. When there is an overproduction of the acid, it can lead to stomach discomfort.
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