Heartburn and acid reflux is a condition where stomach acids flow back into the esophagus leading to pain and a burning sensation. While doctors recommend lifestyle changes, in a lot of cases, it is not enough and heartburn medicine over the counter is needed to treat the pain and discomfort especially in cases of mild heartburn and acid reflux. Here are five best over the counter drugs used as heartburn relief medicine.
Antacids are heartburn relief medicines that are available as over the counter drugs and are used to neutralize stomach acids. Antacids are fast-acting drugs that provide quick relief from mild heartburn and/or infrequent occurrence of acid reflux. Antacids, however, are not very effective in cases of chronic heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The popular over the counter antacids are Alka-Seltzer, Tums, Milk of magnesia, Gelusil, Gaviscon, Alternagel, Maalox, Mylanta, and Rolaids.
Oral Suspension Medicines
Liquid heartburn relief medicine coats the lining of the esophagus which helps reduce the number of stomach acids. The most common examples of such over the counter heartburn relief medicine are Pepto-Bismol and Carafate which are used to treat heartburn as well as indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, and the ulcers of throat, stomach and intestines.
Histamine Antagonists or H2 Blockers
Previously only sold by prescription, some H2 blockers which cut down the production of stomach acids are now also available as over the counter heartburn relief medicine like Nizatidine, Pepcid AC, Cimetidine, and Zantac (Ranitidine).
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI)
PPI that block stomach acid production and heal the damaged esophagus are usually taken under a doctor’s supervision, but a few PPI are available as over the counter heartburn relief medicine like Prilosec (omeprazole), Nexium (esomeprazole), and Prevacid (lansoprazole). They must be taken in cases where heartburn symptoms are severe, frequent and must be administered as per the instructions available on the package.
Anti Flatulence Drugs
People who suffer from bloating, pressure, and flatulence while suffering from heartburn may use over the counter drugs like Beano, Gas-X, and Phazyme as heartburn relief medicine to treat their symptoms.